Catholic Priest To Serve Life In Rape Of Boy

CLEVELAND—A former Catholic priest who lives in northeast Ohio was sentenced Tuesday to life in prison without a chance for parole for the rape of an 8-year-old boy 16 years ago.

A Cuyahoga County jury convicted Joseph N. Williams, 64, of Akron, of three counts of rape and one count of kidnapping on Dec. 19 following a two-day trial. Authorities say the crime happened in 1992 at a nursing home in Warrensville Heights, where the boy was visiting a relative with his family.

Williams was a priest from 1969 to 1976, several years before the rape, said prosecutor’s office spokesman Ryan Miday said. He served as a chaplain at Lorain Catholic High School.

Miday said Williams retired in 1998 as a lawyer.

Miday said the jury also heard information that Williams sexually molested a 12-year-old boy beginning in 1984 outside Cuyahoga County.

A message seeking comment was left late Tuesday at the office of the Cuyahoga County Public Defender.