County prosecutors are urging anyone with information about the Rev. Brian Cox and suspected child abuse to contact the Carroll County State's Attorney's office directly.
"We're concerned that people may be confused or misled by the statement distributed at St. John [Roman Catholic Church in Westminster]," said Deputy State's Attorney Marcie S. Wogan, referring to a church bulletin insert instructing members to contact the Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore with information.
"Reports made directly to the archdiocese instead of law enforcement are not in compliance with either the spirit or the letter of the law," Ms. Wogan said.
The archdiocese confirmed this weekend that Father Cox is being investigated in connection with an incident described as "inappropriate touching" of a young boy 15 years ago. Father Cox is now at an undisclosed in-patient treatment facility not operated by the archdiocese, said spokesman William Blaul this weekend.
"Father Brian Cox has been the subject of an investigation in previous years," said Ms. Wogan, who declined to elaborate on those previous charges.
"Father Cox was never questioned, because when investigators from the state's attorney's office attempted to reach him, he went on sabbatical and the church would not disclose his whereabouts," she said.
Mr. Blaul was not available for comment yesterday.