Cincinnati Priest Pleads Not Guilty on Nine Rape Counts; Bail Set at $5 Million

Father Geoff Drew faces life in prison if convicted of raping an altar boy between 1988 and 1991 at St. Jude in Bridgetown.

Aug 21, 2019 at 10:56 am
Father Geoff Drew - Archdiocese of Cincinnati
Archdiocese of Cincinnati
Father Geoff Drew

A Cincinnati priest pleaded not guilty to nine counts of rape dating back to 1988 at an arraignment hearing in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court this morning. 

Father Geoff Drew is accused of raping an altar boy in his office while he was a music minister at St. Jude in Bridgetown. The accuser, who was 10 years old when those rapes started, testified to a grand jury about the allegations last week. Yesterday, Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters announced Drew had been indicted on those allegations.

Due to the seriousness of the charges, Hamilton County Common Pleas Court Judge Leslie Ghiz imposed a $5 million bond for Drew, saying the court deemed him a flight risk. Drew's attorney, Brandon Moermond, had asked for a low bond, saying that his client had strong ties to Cincinnati and had already been in jail since Monday. 

Drew was not a priest at the time of the alleged incidents, which his accuser says continued until 1991. He was ordained by the Cincinnati Archdiocese in 2004 and was last pastor of St. Ignatius of Loyola Parish. The Archdiocese suspended him July 23 after allegations he sent inappropriate text messages to a minor.

Deters said yesterday he believes others may come forward with allegations. 

The next hearing related to Drew's case is scheduled for Sept. 11. If convicted, he could receive a life sentence.