Sheriff’s office reopens priest sex abuse probe

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The Cook County Sheriff’s office is reopening its investigation into alleged sexual abuse by a priest from Chicago.

Just a week ago, Father Michael O’Connell was reinstated as pastor of St. Alphonsus Church in Lakeview when a sexual abuse complaint from December proved unfounded, but now a man has come forward to say he witnessed O’Connell molesting a boy in 1999 at a south suburban gym.

The latest accuser admits he didn’t tell police or the Archdiocese about the alleged abuse when it happened.

He says it was because he didn’t know O’Connell was a priest, and because O’Connell threatened him.

The Archdiocese wants to talk to the man before it decides whether to take any action against O’Connell.

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