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Published: Thursday, 5/1/2008

Maumee ex-pastor indicted on sex charge

Murd Murd

A Roman Catholic priest and former pastor of St. Joseph's Church in Maumee was indicted yesterday after being accused of having improper sexual contact with an adult in a hot tub at the YMCA/JCC in Sylvania.

The Rev. Frank Murd was charged in Lucas County Common Pleas Court with one count of misdemeanor sexual imposition.

The indictment stems from a reported incident March 18 at the YMCA/JCC, 6465 Sylvania Ave. The male victim called Sylvania Township police later that day, and a report was filed with the department.

Father Murd, 66, who was ordained in 1976, resigned as pastor of St. Joseph's about a month later. In announcing his resignation to parishioners in an April 10 letter, the Diocese of Toledo said he entered into treatment at an undisclosed residential facility for "appropriate spiritual remedies" and "professional evaluation and counseling."

The letter said Father Murd had told Bishop Leonard Blair he was under investigation for an accusation involving improper sexual contact with an adult.

Sexual imposition is a first-degree misdemeanor that carries a maximum sentence of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.

The prosecutor's office asked the grand jury to indict the priest on a felony count of gross sexual imposition, but the panel voted against doing so.

Because the charge is a misdemeanor, the case against Father Murd likely will be sent to Sylvania Municipal Court. An arraignment has not been scheduled.

A statement released by the diocese yesterday said Father Murd has retained his own attorney to represent him and is continuing to receive professional evaluation and counseling.

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