TOLEDO — A Richland County priest has been placed on administrative leave by the Diocese of Toledo.
In a prepared statement, Bishop Daniel E. Thomas said Rev. Nelson Beaver has been put on administrative leave, effective immediately, as the result of a recent allegation of sexual abuse of a minor dating back more than 25 years.
Beaver is the pastor of Resurrection Parish in Lexington and St. Mary of the Snows Parish in Mansfield. The allegation was not made in relation to those parish assignments. He is no longer residing at those parishes while on administrative leave.
Beaver has denied the allegation, and this is the only such accusation against him, according to the bishop.
The allegation has been reported to civil authorities as required by diocesan policy. The diocese has extended an offer of pastoral care to the individual reporting the allegation.
“We take every allegation of abuse of a minor with the utmost seriousness. Administrative leave is a first, precautionary step that safeguards and protects children while we start a canonical process of determining whether the allegation can be substantiated and whether a priest should remain in ministry,” Thomas said.
The bishop said any allegation of sexual abuse of a minor by a priest, deacon, staff member or volunteer affiliated with the Diocese of Toledo should first be reported to local law enforcement where the abuse is alleged to have occurred. Such allegations may be reported to the diocesan victim assistance coordinator at 419-214-4880.