BALTIMORE — According to Maryland’s correctional administration, a convicted child r*pist, whose crimes were recently highlighted in a lengthy state investigation on s*x abuse and coverups inside the Archdiocese of Baltimore, died last week in jail.
John Merzbacher, 81, served four life terms after being convicted of r*pe in 1995 for s*xually abusing students at a Catholic middle school in Baltimore in the 1970s.
According to state corrections officials, he died of natural causes in the infirmary of Eastern Correctional Institution in Westover, Maryland.
Merzbacher’s misdeeds have resurfaced in recent weeks due to the release of a report by the Maryland Attorney General’s Office, which spent years investigating child s*xual abuse in the archdiocese.
It discovered that over 600 children were s*xually molested by more than 150 priests and others linked with the Baltimore archdiocese for decades, frequently with impunity.
The Daily Record Tweeted on his Tweeter Account that a Former Baltimore Catholic School Teacher convicted child r*pist died last week in prison. You also check the read below.
A convicted child rapist, whose crimes were recently highlighted in an extensive state report on sex abuse and coverups within the Archdiocese of Baltimore, died last week in prison. https://t.co/Rq7C0xW6vL
— The Daily Record (@MDDailyRecord) May 15, 2023
Merzbacher is cited in the study as “the most obvious example of systemic abuse” done by non-clerical members of the archdiocese, including deacons and Catholic school teachers. Prior inquiries have primarily focused on abusive priests.
According to the investigation, Merzbacher intimidated kids while teaching at Catholic Community Middle School in south Baltimore while school leadership looked the other way.
According to the research, he r*ped and ab*sed hundreds of male and female kids, often at gunpoint, once discharged a gun at school, and frequently threatened to kill the children or their families if they revealed what he was doing.
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According to the report, investigators interviewed Merzbacher in prison as part of their investigation, and he denied doing anything wrong. This raises serious questions about who in the archdiocese knew about Merzbacher’s abuse and failed to hold him accountable. He dropped out of school in 1979.
Prosecutors discovered proof Merzbacher had mistreated 13 other students when he was convicted of r*ping one in 1995. Still, according to the report, they declined to pursue him in those cases since he was already serving life in prison.
“Now, as always, is an important time to keep those victim-survivors who Merzbacher harmed so deeply in our prayers,” according to a statement released by the Archdiocese of Baltimore on Monday.“The Archdiocese prays for their strength and for their continued healing.”
Maryland Gov. Wes Moore signed legislation to eliminate the state’s statute of limitations for child s*x abuse cases on Oct. 1, just days after the attorney general’s report was released. Several victims have already filed civil lawsuits in response to the law change.
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