BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A Baltimore priest was cleared to return to active ministry Sunday after an internal investigation found no evidence to support an accusation that he sexually abused a child over three decades ago.
Fr. Martin Demek , the pastor at Corpus Christi Catholic Church in Baltimore, came under scrutiny in early 2021 in response to the allegation. Demek, who denied the allegation and was not charged with a crime, was suspended while the Archdiocese of Baltimore conducted its own investigation.READ MORE: Dunbar High School In Baltimore Dismisses Early Due To Gas Leak
The pastor was accused of repeatedly sexually abusing a child at St. Bartholomew Catholic Church in Manchester in 1989 when the accuser was 11 years old.
After learning of the allegation, the Archdiocese notified law enforcement and the community. It then launched its own investigation, which was assisted by a former FBI agent and included interviews with nearly 50 people. The investigation found “the evidence does not substantiate” the allegation.
“The Archdiocese has determined that Father Demek remains suitable for ministry and the Archdiocese’s Office of Child and Youth Protection has recommended that, in light of the investigation, (Demek) be returned to active ministry,” the church said.READ MORE: Montessori Public Charter School In Baltimore No Longer On Lockdown After Threat Called In
The investigation’s findings were presented to the Archdiocese’s Independent Review Board—an advisory panel made up of six lay people, a sister and a pastor—which supported the decision to clear Demek and return him to active ministry.
As a result, the Archdiocese lifted Demek’s suspension and restored his role at pastor of Corpus Christi Church over the weekend.
In a statement Sunday, the Archdiocese said it takes allegations of child sexual abuse seriously, and it encouraged anyone with allegations of that nature to come forward.MORE NEWS: Maryland Weather: Cool & Cloudy With Some Sunshine
Anyone with information about sexual abuse either by a priest, church employee or volunteer is asked to call the Archdiocese’s Office of Child and Youth Protection at 1-866-417-7469.