Evanston Police charge former Catholic priest in 2001 sex assault case

Kenneth Lewis, 56. (Evanston Police)

Evanston Police have charged a former Catholic priest who allegedly sexually assaulted a minor more than a decade ago.

Kenneth Lewis, a 56-year-old resident of Arvada, Colorado, was charged with sexual assault against a minor stemming from an incident that took place at an Evanston hotel in late July of 2001.

Police said the male victim was 13 years old and a resident of Tulsa, Oklahoma, at the time. Lewis, who was a Catholic priest at the time of the incident, was with the victim and his family on a trip to Evanston.

The incident was reported to the Tulsa police department in 2004, which notified Evanston Police of the investigation into the incident. Lewis could not be charged in the initial investigation.

However, in 2017, the Cook County State's Attorney's Office and Evanston Police reopened the investigation, leading to an arrest warrant for Lewis, who was in Ecuador at the time. Police said Lewis returned to the U.S. on May 9 and was arrested on the warrant by U.S. customs agents at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport upon his arrival.

Lewis was transported back to Illinois by the Cook County Sherriff's Police Fugitive Unit and appeared in bond court on Saturday. He is due back in court May 22.
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