(12-20-22) According to a Lima News story… a new indictment was filed on December 15th in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio against former Van Wert Priest Michael J. Zacharias. The federal grand jury found probable cause to believe that the former priest had “by force, fraud and coercion … knowingly recruited, enticed, harbored, transported, provided or obtained” three separate victims under the age of 18 to engage in a commercial sex act.

The alleged offenses occurred between July of 2005 and August of 2020.

Zacharias served at St. Mary of the Assumption Parish in Van Wert from July 2007 to April 2011.

Zacharias is slated to be arraigned on the new charges via a remote hearing at 9 a.m. this morning before U.S. District Court Judge Jack Zouhary.

A jury trial that was scheduled for February 6, 2023 but that has been postponed due in part to the new indictment.