Chicago priest acquitted in bench trial of allegation regarding a minor

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A Chicago priest was acquitted of all charges in a bench trial Wednesday after the Illinois Department of Family Services ruled they found "no credible evidence" to support allegations of child abuse or neglect.

Father Gary Graf was removed as pastor of San Jose Luis Sanchez del Rio Parish in August 2018 pending an investigation into "an allegation of code of conduct violations involving a minor," according to the letter.

The Chicago Archdiocese released a statement following the verdict, saying in part, "Now that the public authorities have completed their investigations and the court has rendered a verdict, the archdiocese, in accordance with its established procedures, will bring to conclusion its own investigation and will provide its findings to its Independent Review Board for the Board's determinations and recommendations to Cardinal Cupich. The results of his process will be made public."

The parish is a group of three churches - St. Philomena in the Hermosa neighborhood, Maternity BVM in the Humboldt Park neighborhood and St. Francis Assisi in the University Village neighborhood - that have merged into one, according to Susan Thomas, a spokeswoman for the Archdiocese of Chicago.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.
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