Priest Admits 'Inappropriate Sexual Behavior' While In Ohio - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Priest Admits 'Inappropriate Sexual Behavior' While In Ohio

ALMA, Mich. (AP) - A priest in Alma, Mich., told parishioners that he engaged in inappropriate sexual behavior in Ohio about 16 years ago.

The Rev. John Hammer gave a prepared speech to about 200 people at the end of a Mass on Sunday at Saint Mary Catholic Church. Hammer has served as a pastor in Michigan for 10 years.

A 33-year-old man from Columbus, Ohio, has accused Hammer of sexually abusing him when he was an altar boy between 1980 and 1983 at Saint Louis Catholic Church in Louisville, Ohio.

Lawyer Jeffrey Anderson said that the man wants the Diocese of Saginaw to remove Hammer from the priesthood.

The Rev. Tom Moore, who is the director of the Diocesan Office of Church Ministries, said that the bishop wants to hear from Hammer's parishioners before deciding his future.

Hammer said that he was removed from his duties in Ohio in 1985.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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