Former Priest Sentenced To Life In Prison

The sentencing hearing was held for former pastor Michael Zacharias, who was found guilty in a federal sex-trafficking trial in May.

Zacharias, the former pastor at St. Michael The Archangel Parish in Findlay, was arrested in August of 2020 and indicted in October of that year.

At the time of Zacharias’ arrest, U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman said,

“This defendant is accused of using his status and position as a religious and community leader to seek out troubled minors and exploit their personal challenges for his own satisfaction.”

Authorities say Zacharias first met the victims when they were young boys and he was at St. Catherine’s Catholic Parish in Toledo and began grooming the boys for sex acts.  

In May, he was convicted of five counts of sex trafficking relating to the three victims, two of whom were trafficked as minors and as adults.

Zacharias was sentenced to life in prison on Friday in U.S. District Court in Toledo.