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Minister accused of fondling

By Kimball Perry, Post staff reporter

The pastor of a Lutheran church faces 13 years in prison after he was indicted Tuesday on charges he fondled two boys, one inside his church office.

A Hamilton County grand jury indicted Phillip Dumke, 59, 2831 Hocking Drive, on four counts of gross sexual imposition.

Dumke is the pastor of Grace Lutheran Church, 3628 Boudinot Ave.

''I was aware up to a point'' of accusations against Dumke, said Tom Cope, president of the congregation. He declined further comment.

The pastor is accused of befriending the young sons - then ages 6 and 9 but now 15 and 18 - of a recently widowed mother in 1991.

The older son, during recent alcohol and drug treatment, revealed what he said were two incidents of Dumke fondling him when he stayed at the pastor's home on some nights and weekends.

When those accusations arose, the boy's younger brother then revealed that he, too, had been fondled by the pastor, once at the pastor's home and once in his church office.

''These indictments paint a portrait of a broken bond between a pastor and two of the children of his flock. What should be sacrosanct appears to have been grossly violated,'' said Prosecutor Mike Allen.

Dumke's attorney, Tom Miller, said Dumke denied the charges: ''Remember that the grand jury system only hears one side of the case. This case will be tried in the courtroom, not in the media.''

Publication date: 03-01-00






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