Tulsa Police investigating church abuse violations

Tuesday, July 30th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

A young man has come forward, accusing Father Ken Lewis of molesting him in the mid 1990's in Tulsa. He told investigators other boys were also victims.

In response to that, the Tulsa Police Department has created a task force to investigate. News on Six crime reporter Lori Fullbright says the task force is made of detectives from sex crimes, child crimes and child exploitation.

The first goal is to interview any potential victims who say this priest molested them while he worked in Tulsa. The second goal is to determine if anyone knew about the crimes, but did not report them to police, which is also against state law.

Tulsa Police Sgt Wayne Allen, "It's not the church's place to investigate these crimes. It's the job of the Department of Human Services and local law enforcement and that's where the allegations should be directed to."

Sex crimes investigators plan to interview the young man making these allegations, they're really just beginning the case. The problem is, if the crime occurred, it's possible the statute of limitations, which is seven years has expired. And also, if anyone knew about it, but didn't report it, which is a misdemeanor, it may be too late to prosecute that as well.

However, if other victims come forward with allegations within seven years, they may have a case. It's all too early to tell right now. However, we may learn more in just a couple of hours when Rev. Lewis plans to make a statement from a Tulsa attorney's office.