Rev. Theodore P. Lucas was placed on administrative leave by Bishop Nelson Perez of the Catholic Diocese of Greater Cleveland because of a “credible accusation of sexual misconduct involving a minor.” The order was announced on May 16, 2018. Lucas was instructed “not to function in any capacity as a priest anywhere.”
Lucas had been assigned to St. Bartholomew’s in Middleburg Heights from 1984 to 1989. He was sent to Resurrection of Our Lord in Solon between 1989 and 1997. From 1997 to 2014 Lucas was assigned to St. Mary Magdalene’s in Willowick. He was placed on “medical leave of absence” in March 2014 and remained in that status until being placed on administrative leave on May 16.
Lucas was at St. Mary Magdalene’s in 2002 when former Cuyahoga County Prosecuting Attorney William D. Mason and his second-in-command, Michael O’Malley, discovered over 1000 victims during a 50-year period who’d been sexually abused by 145 priests and 351 diocese employees.
The two Catholic prosecutors ignored a federal misprision of felony law and operated in conspiracy with the diocese led by Bishop Anthony Pilla and Catholic judges like Brian Corrigan to conceal the crimes their priests were committing against believers.
Diocese attorneys asked for the records of the sex crimes the 496 Catholic priests and employees committed to be withheld from public disclosure after Mason and O’Malley’s investigation.
Mason and O’Malley violated 18 U.S.C. 4 as if it didn’t exist when they agreed with the diocese’s request to conceal known felony violations of law. Corrigan agreed with his court order to seal the evidence of felony violations of law 496 officials of the Catholic church committed against 1000 victims.
“Whoever, having knowledge of the actual commission of a felony cognizable by a court of the United States, conceals and does not as soon as possible make known the same to some judge or other person in civil or military authority under the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.”
It’s been discovered in the thousands of Catholic church sex abuse cases that local Catholic prosecutors conspired with the diocese to hide knowledge of crimes to protect their priests.
Despite knowing that 496 Catholic officials committed offenses, Mason chose to prosecute one priest and six employees who he knew were beyond the statute of limitations.
Corrigan’s decision to seal the records may have shielded Catholic officials who were not beyond the statute of limitations. Corrigan is still a common pleas judge.
Federal prosecutors used 18 U.S.C. 4 to prosecute the late Judge Richard Baumgartner of Knoxville, Tennessee on five counts of violating the federal law in 2012. The judge was prosecuted for using his office to enlist the help of other judges to do favors for a woman who supplied him with drugs and sex.
This writer suggests that Catholics who may have been abused by Rev. Lucas should contact the FBI at 216-522-1400 instead of Cuyahoga County’s prosecutor, O’Malley. A Cleveland man who contacted the city’s sex crimes detectives said he was told by police to go to confession. When he directly contacted Mason’s office the man said prosecutors refused to investigate or take a criminal complaint.
Last year O’Malley launched an initiative to prosecute Protestant teenagers who’d been accused of committing sexual crimes.