Police investigate alleged child molestation at Hammond school

Diane Pathieu Image
Friday, January 29, 2016
Alleged child molestation under investigation
Police are investigating an alleged case of child molestation at St. Casimir Catholic School in Hammond.

HAMMOND, Ill. (WLS) -- School officials promised parents transparency as police investigate an alleged case of child molestation at St. Casimir Catholic School in Hammond, Indiana.

The incident allegedly occurred at St. Casimir during school hours. Investigators said the mother of the child reported the incident to police.

A spokesperson with the Catholic Diocese of Gary said police contacted the school's principal to make her aware of the complaint. A note was sent home to parents to let them know about the investigation.

"It's just, it was frightening. I mean not knowing the answers - no one's giving us answers or answering our questions. We're going to be put to the side and no one is bringing light to anything. It's like all hush hush," said one parent, who did not want to be identified.

Javier Galvan said he is worried about his son, who attends St. Casimir. Kimberly Patterson said if the allegations are true, she's going to keep a closer eye on what happens at the school.

"My grandbaby is getting a very good education here. So if it's true, she's still going to go, but it's going to be a more monitored thing with me," Patterson said.

School officials told parents Friday they plan to keep them updated on the case.

No one has been arrested. Police said St. Casimir is cooperating with the investigation.

The latest allegation comes just five months after a priest, Father William O'Toole, was seen walking around the school naked.

No children were inside at the time. Police did not charge O'Toole. He later took a leave of absence.