Retired Columbus priest ‘credibly accused’ of sexual abuse of a minor


COLUMBUS (WCMH) — A retired Diocesan priest has been added to a list of priests who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse against a minor.

According to the Catholic Diocese of Columbus, David Schilder, 77, is accused of two incidents where he sexually abused a minor.

According to the diocese, an accusation against Schilder was filed in July 2004, stemming from an alleged sexual abuse incident that occurred in 1968. Investigators could not determine the credibility of the allegation due to an incomplete filling of the report, but reported the allegation to Franklin County Children Services.

A second accusation, this one stemming from an alleged incident between 1981 and 1983, was filed on Sept. 16 of this year. The allegation was promptly reported to Columbus Police. An internal investigation interviewed the accuser and Schilder, who denied the allegations.

On Nov. 20, a meeting of the Diocesan Board of Review for the Protection of Children was convened, where it was decided the allegations against Schilder appeared to be credible.

The review board ruled that Schilder’s name be added to a list of priests credibly accused of sexual abuse.

Schilder spent the majority of his career as a priest serving the Columbus area starting in 1968. His assignments have included:

  • Assistant Pastor, Holy Rosary Parish, Columbus (1968-1969)
  • Assistant Pastor, St. Timothy Parish, Columbus (1969-1970)
  • Teacher, Bishop Ready High School, Columbus (1969-1970)
  • Chaplain, Chillicothe Correctional Institution (1970-1976)
  • Assistant Pastor, St. Agnes Parish, Columbus (1976-1977)
  • Associate Director of Catholic Cemeteries, with residence at St. Joseph Cemetery (1977-1978)
  • Director of Catholic Cemeteries (1978-1984)
  • Chaplain, Central Ohio Council, Boy Scouts of America (1973-1975)
  • Orient Correctional Institution, with residence at Corpus Christi Parish, Columbus (1985-86), later in residence, St. Ladislas Parish, Columbus (1986-1997)
  • Chaplain, Elkton Federal Correction Institution, with residence at St. Paul Parish, Salem, Ohio, Youngstown Diocese (1997-2001)
  • Chaplain, Ashland Federal Correction Institution, Ashland, Kentucky (2001-2004)

Schilder retired from the priesthood due to health issues in 2004.

The Catholic Diocese of Columbus maintains a list of clergy members who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse.

If you have been abused by a clergy member, you are encouraged to contact the diocese.

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