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UPDATED: Police investigating alleged child molestation at St. Casimir School

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St. Casimir Catholic School

he Hammond Police Department confirmed an allegation of abuse that was reported Jan. 25 at St. Casimir School in Hammond has been investigated and the information provided to the Lake County Prosecutor’s Office.

HAMMOND — Police said Thursday they are investigating an allegation a child was molested at St. Casimir Catholic School.

The alleged molestation occurred during regular school hours Monday and was reported by the child's mother, Lt. Richard Hoyda said.

St. Casimir School representatives are cooperating with the investigation, he said.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Sgt. Mark Biller at (219) 852-2906.

St. Casimir Principal Lorenza Pastrick sent a letter to parents Wednesday alerting them to the incident. She said the police contacted her Tuesday about the molestation complaint made by a member of the family.

"At that time, the child involved was not able to put a name with the face," Pastrick said. "St. Casimir has been cooperating fully with police and in the interest of timely communication, the notice was sent to parents."

In the letter, Pastrick said the circumstances surrounding the event are nebulous and unclear. She said specifics on the incident, including when and where it took place and who was involved remain unknown.

"I need to stress that no one, at this point, has been identified as the person involved," Pastrick wrote to parents.

According to diocesan standards, many security measures are in place and continue to be observed in our children's best interests, she said. 

"As I mentioned in my notice to parents, additional steps have been taken but, for security reasons, we are not able to share that information with the public at large. This is all we know at this point."

Barbara O'Block, superintendent of the Catholic Diocese of Gary, was away from the office Thursday and couldn't be reached for comment.

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Southlake County Reporter

Carmen is an award-winning journalist who has worked at The Times newspaper for 20 years. Before that she also had stints at The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Miss., The Post-Tribune and The News Dispatch in Michigan City.

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