Man Calls For Indictments After Making Accusations Against Priest - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Man Calls For Indictments After Making Accusations Against Priest

BRUNSWICK, Ohio – A criminal investigation is underway after a man alleged that he was molested by a northeast Ohio priest more than 20 years ago, Action News' Tom Meyer reported.

The alleged victim, 35-year-old Chris Kodger, is angry, vocal and calling for indictments.

Kodger said that Father James Mulica molested him when he was only 14. Mulica served at the Chapel of Divine Word in Kirtland, Ohio.

"We had gone swimming, so I'm in swimming trunks, and we start drinking beer," Kodger said. "He gets me drunk and then he's assaulting me."

Kodger (pictured, above) now lives an isolated life in Alaska, but he flew back to his parents' home in Brunswick to break his silence. A painful process that included some negative words directed at Bishop Anthony Pilla.

"I think Pilla is far worse than a perpetrator because he shelters, feeds, clothes them and puts them where they can get more children," Kodger said. "Really, he's providing prey to these perverts."

Kodger said that Pilla promised that Mulica would never be in contact with children again, but then knowingly moved Mulica from one church and school to others, including Cleveland's Holy Redeemer.

The family was most upset when they said that the diocese tried to reassign Mulica to the Kirtland church.

"That's when I knew I was an absolutely worthless piece of human garbage and the church never cared for me at all," Kodger said.

Pilla declined to be interviewed, but a statement from the diocese said that Mulica received treatment within a day or two and, based on professional advice, he returned to ministry in the diocese in 1983 -- two years after the alleged incident.

Kodger said that he wants Pilla to resign. He gave a statement to Kirtland Police in the hopes that Pilla would be charged with criminal conspiracy.

"Bishop Pilla, you belong in prison with other predators," Kodger said. "This is worse than murder. Murder is forgivable, said Jesus, not the scandalizing of children."

Mulica has reportedly relocated to Arizona and could not be reached for comment.

Now it's up to the Lake County prosecutor to decide what, if any, charges will be filed.

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