CHRISTIAN SEX CRIMES - REPORTED
(by U.S. states, Canadian states, other countries)
*** ALABAMA ***
PASTOR BOOKED FOR MOLESTING SCHOOLGIRL. A girl, 15, was
a church-run school in Birmingham by Rev. James E. Johnson, of
Ensley, according to police. He was charged with 2nd degree sexual
assault, a misdemeanor. Source: Birmingham News.
*** ARIZONA ***
PRIEST GETS 10 YEARS. In an April plea-bargain, Rev. Mark Lebman,
29, of St. Thomas the Apostle Church, will get a 10-year prison
sentence without parole, followed by lifetime probation, for
fondling 3 young Phoenix girls. He was not prosecuted for 15 other
charges of sexual misconduct with 2 girls and a boy. He agreed to
pay $15,000 for counseling for all 6 victims, ages 8 to 13. Source:
PHOENIX MAN SUES POPE. A Phoenix man represented by attorney
Treon has added the Pope and Phoenix Bishop Thomas O'Brien to a
filed in 1990 over George Bredemann, 49, a long-time abuser of altar
boys. Bredemann is serving 45 years in prison Source: Arizona
BAPTIST VOLUNTEER PREYED ON GIRLS? Thomas Road Baptist Church
Phoenix failed to screen church volunteer John Herman Kuiper for a
criminal record when it permitted him to drive a church bus &
volunteer at youth events. Kuiper, who had been convicted in 1991
a felony charge of 3rd degree sexual assault, was arrested in
Phoenix for molesting 5 girls. As a church bus driver in Fort
Collins, Colorado, he had received a deferred sentence for molesting
a little girl, 5. Rev. Ken Adrian, church pastor, complained to
media that the publicity was not good for his Phoenix church.
Source: Arizona Republic.
LUTHERAN COUNSELOR NABBED. St. Paul Lutheran Church youth
John Wayne Nase, 40, Phoenix, was accused of multiple counts of
child molesting, sexual conduct with a minor & kidnapping. Police
say he ordered a boy, 12, into the choir loft & performed sex acts
on him after Nase's Sunday confirmation classes. Source: _Arizona
*** CALIFORNIA ***
REDEEMER CHURCH SETTLES SUIT. Redeemer Lutheran Church,
City, made a secret settlement to a victim of youth counselor James
A. Weller, who had sought $25,000. The victim said the pastor and
other church officials interrupted Weller when he was molesting the
victim, then 13, but failed to report it. Weller had been
dishonorably discharged from the Navy for sexual molestation and
a record when he was hired by the church. He was convicted in 1990
of 27 counts of sex crimes against 4 boys and a girl, including oral
sex, rape and pornography. He is serving a 4-year prison sentence.
Source: Redwood City Tribune.
DYING CANCER PATIENT RAPED IN MONASTERY. A terminally ill
staying at a Benedictine monastery in Oceanside was raped and
by a masked intruder while a female accomplice ransacked her room.
After beating her in the head with a flashlight, the intruder ripped
her clothes, raped her and forced her into other sex acts. Source:
New York Post.
PRIEST CHARGED WITH MOLESTING GIRLS. A Sacramento judge
warrant for the arrest of priest Gerardo Beltran, 34, for sexually
molesting 2 girls, ages 6 and 12, between 1989 and 1991. Beltran
left for Mexico when an investigation began. "More than anything, I
feel angry. How dare this man come into my home and do such a
horrible thing?" said the mother of the girls. "Nothing will ever be
the same. Not only was it a horrible crime, it also affected our
religious beliefs. This is a man who performed our Sunday Masses,
who listened to our confessions." The diocese won't admit
wrongdoing, but has offered counseling and an evaluation of both
girls. Source: Sacramento Bee.
PLEA BARGAIN TO BAN PRIEST. Los Angeles city attorneys offered to
settle charges against Patrick Kelly, 72, for making sexual advances
to a girl, 9, if he agrees to stay in Ireland and not return to
California for 3 years. Source: Los Angeles Times.
SAN DIEGO WOMAN SUES PRIEST. A San Diego woman, 29, filed suit
against a retired priest and caretaker for molesting her hundreds of
times at St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church from 1974-1979. Also
is the diocese of Escondido. Father Victor Ubaldi, 79, now in Italy,
denies the charges. The janitor has not been located. She said the
men separately committed rape, oral sex and molestation, starting
when she was 12. She seeks to recoup the cost of psychological
counseling as well as unspecified damages. Another woman has come
forward saying Ubaldi fondled her at the age of 12 or 13 when he
came to her house to give communion to her sick grandmother.
Charles Fuld, Diocese of San Diego, insists there is "no indication
at all, that he served in anything but aIl exemplary fashion".
Source: Los Angeles Times.
PROMINENT EVANGELICAL RESIGNS; NO CHARGES? Prominent
teacher/leader James C. Truxton, 77, resigned his positions at the
5,000-member First Evangelical Free Church in Fullerton. The
founding president of Mission Aviation Fellowship admitted he was
stepping down because of "molestation perpetrated by me in the past
upon young girls within & outside this congregation". Truxton & his
wife's memberships were revoked They were told not to set foot on
church property again. Both had been teaching second-graders; the
wife was called "culpable". At least 7 church members in their 20s &
30s said they were molested by Truxton as children. The statute of
limitations has expired; no criminal charges were filed. When
parents 20 years ago complained to Mission Aviation Fellowship
officials about Truxton, they were told a psychologist at Fuller
Seminary evaluated him, concluding he was in no need of help.
Source: National & International Religion Report.
PASTOR OUSTED FROM 4,500-MEMBER CHURCH. Pastor David Hocking
Calvary Church in Santa Ana was forced to resign after confessing to
an affair with a married woman. Hocking, 51, is married with grown
children. Source: National & International Religion Report.
CATHOLIC COACH ABUSED RUNNER. Former marathon runner Linda
Housen, 28, was awarded $1.1 million in damages by a San Mateo
that ruled her coach had sexually molested her for than than 10
years from the time she was 13. Coach Michael Ipsen, 49, made a
sexual slave of her, she testified. It was unsettled who would pay
the damages, pending outcome of a legal battle between the College
of Notre Dame in Belmont, where Ipsen had coached, & its insurance
carrier. Source: San Francisco Chronicle.
SAN JOSE CATHOLIC COVER-UP? A San Jose woman is charging that
Peter Luc The Phan, her priest, told her it was her religious
obligation to help him get over his "fixation with the female body".
She said when she tried to break off the relationship in 1990, Phan
raped her. Three priests told the woman to keep quiet to protect the
church, she said. One priest suggested she forgive him & take up
tennis. Another told her the church couldn't help her until she
agreed not to press charges. The woman, a nurse, said she has tried
to commit suicide twice because of the priest, who began exploiting
her when she started religious instruction with him. Source: San
Jose Mercury News.
PASTOR GETS 13 YEARS FOR INCEST. Springfield Baptist Church
Jon L. Walker, 43, was sentenced to 18 years in prison for molesting
a relative for 2-1/2 years, beginning when she was 13. Twenty
persons pleaded for leniency, including the local NAACP president.
Walter's defense was to accuse his wife of concocting the charges to
get even with him because he had an affair with a young church
member! Deputy DA Karen Gray said the letters of support were "a
testimony to the fact that Mr. Walter's life has been a fraud".
Source: San Luis Obispo Telegram Tribune.
VICTIM SUES CONVICTED MINISTER. Rancho Cucamonga pastor John
Marshall, convicted of sexually battering an ill man, 25, is being
sued for $1 million by victim Kirk Judy, along with his church, the
American Baptist Churches of USA & of the Pacific Southwest. The
6'2", 200-lb pastor overpowered the 5'6", 140-lb victim at a bedside
counseling visit. He got only 2 years of probation. The suit alleges
that Marshall had committed other crimes, & that the 2 Baptist
groups should have known about them. Source: Ontario Daily
CHARGES AGAINST JUBILEE CHRISTIAN CENTER. Two assistant
Jubilee Christian Center, San Jose, were charged with 4 felony
counts of lewd & lascivious conduct with children, stemming from
assaults on 4 boys, ages 10-15, at the church between September
& February 1992. Charged are Pablo Geraldo Boas, 28, & David Ernest
Brimmer, 39. Sources: L.A. Times, San Francisco
MORMON TEACHER GETS 30 YEARS. Sobbing Mormon Sunday School
John Allen Midgett asked for God's forgiveness before being
sentenced to 30 years in state prison for molesting & terrorizing 8
girls, ages 5-10. A parent testified Midgett turned her cheerful,
trusting daughter into a frightened, scarred recluse. He was also
ordered to pay $10,000 in restitution Source: San Diego Times
Union, Los Angeles Times.
*** COLORADO ***
PRIEST COMMITS SUICIDE. The day after the attorney of St. Mary's
High School in Colorado Springs hired an investigator to look into
charges of sexual misconduct by Rev. Richard Chung, the Benedictine
priest committed suicide. A glowing report of his popularity with
students was printed, but no details on the allegation. Source:
CANCER VICTIM ALLEGES MISCONDUCT. Carolyn Kruse, Aurora, filed
against her minister and church, saying he coerced her into a sexual
relationship when she went for counseling while ill with Hodgkin's
disease. Sued is John R. Leonard, pastor of Harvest Christian
Center, who told the congregation Kruse was possessed by a demon.
Source: Rocky Mountain News.
EPISCOPAL PRIEST SETTLES. Episcopal Rev. Paul Robinson agreed to
$575,000 in damages to Mary Tenantry, mother of 5, for luring her
into an extramarital affair while counseling her. Source:
COUNSELING VICTIM GETS $300,000. The Bear Valley Church of
its former minister Homer Wolfe agreed to pay $300,000 to a man
Wolfe sexually assaulted during family counseling sessions. Earlier,
a boy, now 17, was awarded $450,000 by a jury for similar charges.
Wolfe, 59, has not been criminally charged. He told parishioners to
undress & massage themselves, & masturbated during counseling
sessions, also touching parishioners. The fundamentalist Church of
Christ teaches that nonchurch members will go to hell. Wolfe now
lives in Texas. Source: Rocky Mountain News.
FUGITIVE RELIGIOUS LEADER NABBED. Fugitive religious leader
Randazzo, convicted in 1989 of sex crimes, had skipped the country
in 1990 & was nabbed in Hungary after a manhunt. He will now be
sentenced on 10 counts of sexual exploitation of children & drug
use. Randazzo founded Spiral of Friends Church in Molina. Source:
*** CONNECTICUT ***
CULT LEADER'S SON GETS YEAR. The son of Connecticut religious cult
leader "Brother Julius" was sentenced to a year in prison for
sexually abusing 4 children, ages 7, 9, 10, & 17. His father claims
to be God & a "sinful messiah" & has also been accused of molesting
children. His civil suits have been settled out of court, but he has
never been criminally indicted. Source: Boston Globe.
PRIEST PREYED ON JUVENILE. A Bethel priest is accused of assaulting
a boy, 16, in a motel room after plying him with liquor. Rev. Kieran
(Thomas) Ahearn, 55, vicar at St. Mary's Church & member of the
Capuchin Franciscan order for more than 30 years, was charged with
several counts. The Bridgeport diocese relieved him of his duties.
Sources: Berkshire Eagle, Pittsfield, MA,Waterbury
GIRL, ALTARBOY CHARGE PRIEST. The assistant pastor of Holy Name
Jesus Church in Strafford, also in the Diocese of Bridgeport,
repeatedly raped a teenage girl & an altar boy from 1978-1982 in
room, & at a cabin, according to a civil lawsuit filed against the
diocese & Rev. Raymond Pcolka, 53. The girl alleges that one time
after the priest raped her in the rectory, he forced her to confess
her "sins" to him. Victims Sharon See & Brian Freibott, both 28,
claim severe emotional injury & suicidal tendencies. Pcolka was
temporarily removed from his post as pastor at a Greenwich church.
The congregation was told only that he was "ill". Church officials &
congregation members expressed themselves "shocked"; many
publicly that it could not be true. Following publicity, 2 more men
came forward saying Pcolka had abused them when they were 9 &
involving a second parish. One man said Pcolka had tied him & his
brother to a bed & beat them before assaulting them. Attorney T.
Paul Tremont of Bridgeport said he has evidence the Diocese was
aware of crimes by Pcolka as long as 10 years ago. Complaints were
made at least 3 times, but officials took no action. Source:
CONGREGATIONAL MINISTER RENEGES CONFESSION. Facing 11 felony
stemming from molestations of 2 young brothers since 1987, Rev.
Boardman Kathan says a damaging statement he gave police in July
coerced. Former chair of the Region 16 Board of Education, Kathan
retired last summer as associate minister of the First
Congregational Church of Cheshire in Waterbury. Police say their
investigation shows he molested a boy, 17, numerous times over the
past 5 years, & once molested his brother, now 12. Source:
(Waterbury) Republican American.
*** FLORIDA ***
CULT LEADER REPEAT OFFENDER? Holy Way leader Clarence "Brother
Williams was arrested after a 19-year-old woman said he
her into having sex starting when she was 15. The member of the
said he forced sex upon her and other women more than 40 times
between 1987-1990. Williams, who pleaded guilty 5 years ago to
"cleansing" underage members by ordering them to bare their
was 2 months short of completing his 5-year probation. Terms of
probation prohibited practicing aspects of his religion such as
nudity, fondling children, and having non-related children spend the
night. In 1986 prosecutors interviewed about a dozen girls and their
mothers who described a religious ritual in which they would strip
and fondle each other at Williams' command. Williams claimed this
was _Bible_-based: "Our belief is that biblically if you have a
problem within yourself, it is because of sin or weakness, and about
the only thing that's going to cleanse you of that is if you expose
it before the Lord." Source: Palm Beach Post.
SOLICITOUS TOWARD MONSIGNOR SOLICITOR. Charges for soliciting
from an undercover police officer last fall were dropped against
prominent Tampa monsignor Norman Balthazar, 51. The monsignor
to a notorious prostitution area and approached the undercover cop
offering to "play with each other" and proposing a specific sex act.
Balthazar was a prominent foe of gay rights. Source: St. Petersburg
ACCUSED PASTORAL COUNSELOR A PHONY. Port Charlotte church
principal Albert Joseph Clerico Jr., 47, charged with sexual
misconduct by a psychotherapist by means of therapeutic deception,
claims to be licensed by a nonexistent "scripturally based" group,
National Christian Counselors Association & to have attended the
nonexistent Carolina University of Theology. State investigator
Robert Ford charged that Clerico "did cloak himself in the guise of
Christianity & did represent to the female defendant that sexual
contact" was part of the treatment. Clerico maintains his position
as "pastoral counselor" exempts him under state law from charges.
Police miked the victim & recorded Clerico making sexual advances,
soliciting her comment on his graphic fantasies & telling her to
perform oral sex. He was arrested after the 75-minute "counseling
session". He has been suspended as principal of Community Christian
School of First Baptist Church in Port Charlotte, & as minister of
First Baptist Church, which operates the school. Source: Sarasota
CATHOLIC CHOIR DIRECTOR CHARGED. Richard Trepinski, 55, music
director at St. Charles Borromeo Church in Port Charlotte & director
of Charlotte Co. Boychoir, was charged with 99 counts of lewd &
lascivious assault against minors. He was also charged with sexual
activity with a child while in a custodial capacity. He admitted
having sexual relations with several boys over the past 25 years in
Port Charlotte & Tampa, Florida, & in Colorado. The all-male
Boychoir had performed throughout the United States & Europe.
Source: Toledo Blade.
*** GEORGIA ***
MINISTER GUILTY. Murrayville minister L.G. Gilsrap pleaded guilty
2 counts of child molestation Q after the state high court in 1991
overturned a 1989 conviction for molesting young boys at church.
Source: USA Today.
"WOUNDED SOLDIER" LEAVES CHURCH. Senior pastor of Cathedral of
Holy Spirit, with 12,000 members Q one of Atlanta's largest churches
Q stepped down, admitting an "improper" relationship with a female
church employee. Charismatic Rev. Don Paulk, 53, sermonized, "I am
not here today as a martyr or hero, but as a fallen, wounded soldier
... My family's forgiveness was second only to the forgiveness of
God." His brother, Bishop Earl Paulk, berated the media for exposing
the "weaknesses" of others, and blamed "Satan", promising Don would
return. Source: Atlanta Constitution.
DEKALB CHURCH BLESSES COVER-UP. A sex scandal, now
ministers from one family, has been uncovered at the Cathedral of
the Holy Spirit in DeKalb, Georgia, praised by former President Bush
as one of his "1,000 Points of Light". The $12 million, racially
diverse 7,700-seat church with a TV program, social services, lost
half of its 12,000 members following revelations that its minister,
Bishop Earl Paulk, had an adulterous affair. Other church employees
or members have stepped forward to say they had affairs with the
bishop's brother, Rev. Don Paulk, & his nephews Rev. Duane Swilley
Rev. Alan Mushegan. Women charge the ministers coerced them into
having sex in order to "serve God." The church filed, then dropped a
slander/libel suit against several former members & staffers,
resulting in a gag order by a DeKalb judge forbidding them to
discuss their allegations of sexual misconduct. It promotes a
doctrine of "covering", blessing cover-ups of sexual misconduct &
requiring submission to authority. Don Paulk accuses former church
schoolteacher Rebecca Moses of seducing him, saying "I know now
it was like for Samson to place his head in the lap of Delilah." Six
victims have not filed suit, but are asking for legislation making
it a felony in Georgia for clergy to have sex with members of their
congregations. Sources: AP/Atlanta Journal/Constitution,
USA Today, Boston Globe.
*** HAWAII ***
PRIEST GUILTY OF ASSAULTING BOY, 10. Maui priest Arthur O'Brien
pleaded no contest to 4 counts of sexual assault and attempted
assault of a boy, 10, in his Haiku parish. The prosecutor suggested
erasing the conviction of Arthur O'Brien, 55, but Maui Circuit Judge
Richard Komo rejected the deferred sentencing plea bargain because
of the seriousness of the case. Source: Honolulu Advertiser
*** ILLINOIS ***
CATHOLIC PRINCIPAL SUSPENDED. St. Francis High School
principal/priest J. Michael Foley, Wheaton, was suspended on
allegations he fondled a female student, 17, in a school hallway.
Source: Wheaton Daily Journal.
PRIEST WON'T BE PROSECUTED IN ILLINOIS. Rev. Norbert Maday, 54,
leave from the Chicago Archdiocese, won't be prosecuted for a charge
that he sexually abused a boy, 14, in 1986. Wisconsin charges may
pending. Attorney Stephen M. Komie lashed out at accusers, claiming
they made up stories for money. Source: Chicago Sun-Times.
DAVIS FACES MORE CHARGES. Rev. L.R. Davis, charged in Illinois with
criminal sexual misconduct, child pornography, and perjury, was also
charged with assaulting a teenage boy in San Diego. Davis, 57, is a
prominent Waukegan minister with Christian Fellowship, Inc. Two
fellow ministers, Michael Camer, 30, and David Annstrong, 33, are
indicted on lesser charges. Young boys may have been brought from
Tijuana, Mexico to Davis' San Diego church for molestation.
AIR FORCE CHAPLAIN COURT-MARTIALED. Capt. Perry W. Bell, 37,
guilty to adultery with 6 women, conduct unbecoming an officer, and
bringing discredit upon the armed forces. He was also convicted of
attempted seduction of a 19-year-old Air Force cadet who fought off
advances in his chapel office. The Scott Air Force Base chaplain was
court-martialed and given 3 months in jail. He could have been
sentenced for up to 12 years. In exchange for guilty pleas, the Air
Force agreed to a brief sentence and dropped other charges of
indecent advances, possession of a pornographic videotape while in
the United Arab Emigrates during the war against Iran, ordering an
enlisted man to obtain a pornographic tape, and dereliction of duty.
Three of the victims were Air Force Officers, others were a
sergeant, a sergeant's wife seeking counseling, and an enlisted
woman. The senior Protestant chaplain sought out vulnerable women
seeking help for emotional upsets. Source: Edwardsville
DAVIS GETS 31 YEARS, CLEMENCY ASKED. The founder of the
First Christian Fellowship Church of Waukegan, Rev. Lloyd Davis, 57,
flanked by many supporters, was sentenced to 31 years in prison for
criminal sexual assault, child pornography & sexual abuse. He
imported teenaged boys from Mexico for sex. Lake Co. Judge
Christopher C. Starck said: "The burning question in this case is
whether this man is a minister or a monster, a pastor or a
pedophile." Starck said he is all of those things. Davis is believed
to have molested children since the 1960s. Former church members
accuse him of running a cult, making sexual demands on supporters
locating all churches near Naval bases, where he is known for trying
to lure young sailors into his churches for sexual purposes. About
374 persons wrote letters to the judge asking for mercy. "He is the
greatest person there is," insisted Martha Allsopp, a Kenosha church
member. He faces more charges in California. Two other ministers
from his Waukegan church, David Lee Armstrong & Michael Carner,
on trial in March. In January, 200 supporters led by Rev. Peter
Paine of the Christian Fellowship Church presented a request for
clemency for Davis to the Illinois Prisoner Review Board. "I believe
L.R. Davis may be the most sexually dangerous man to have ever
walked the streets of Lake Co.," maintains Assistant State's
Attorney Jeff Pavletic. Sources: _Chicago Tribune, AP/
Quad-City Times, News-Sun (Lake Co.)
LUTHERAN PASTOR CONFESSES TO 13 YEARS OF CRIMES. The 500
Christ Lutheran church in Palatine were sent a letter informing them
that Rev. Wayne Tellekson has confessed to sexual misconduct while
he was pastor from 1975 to 1988. He was removed from his current
Paul, Minn. church when a former victim confronted Tellekson.
Source: Chicago Sun-Times.
MAYER FINALLY CONVICTED. Although he is believed to have
molested numerous minors, male & female, for many years, priest
Robert E. Mayer, 53, had eluded criminal prosecution with the help
of the Catholic Church's friendly policy of transferring molesters,
until now. A girl, 15, sobbed during her testimony describing how
the priest wordlessly molested her on a rectory couch in 1991 when
she was a 13-year-old 8th grader at St. Odilo's R.C. Church in
Berwyn. Two altar boys & classmates of the girl also testified that
Mayer openly talked about wanting to have sex with her, including
the suggestion that she be a "visual & demonstrative aid" during the
boys' sex-education classes taught by Mayer. Jeanne Miller filed
suit against Mayer in one of the first suits against Catholic
molesting priests. Her suit, also naming Bernardin & the Archdiocese
of Chicago, did not take Mayer off the streets, so she formed
Victims of Clergy Abuse Linkup. VOCAL has been assisting 3,000
victims of priests; 300 survivors of clergy abuse met at a well-
publicized VOCAL conference in Chicago in November. Contact VOCAL
PO Box 1268, Wheeling IL 60090 (708)202-0242. Source: Chicago
LAWSUIT ALLEGES CLERGY MALPRACTICE. David S. Guppy filed a
suit for clergy malpractice, misrepresentation, fraud & other counts
against Rev. F. Scott Luthy, resigned pastor of St. Stephen
Evangelical Lutheran Church, Rockford. Guppy says the minister
seduced his wife, a parishioner, than misused his counseling
relationship with Guppy to conceal the affair, urging him to have an
affair of his own. Source: Jackson Citizen Patriot.
WEST CHICAGO PRIEST ARRESTED. Indignant parishioners defended
westside priest Thomas O'Gorman, charged with sexual misconduct
against a minor in the church rectory. O'Gorman is well-known for
community crusades. State's Attorney Jack O'Malley criticized the
archdiocese for impeding his investigation into this allegation &
those against 21 other priests in 1992. O'Gorman was placed on
leave. Source: Chicago Tribune.
SUIT AGAINST PRIEST TIP OF ICEBERG? An attorney representing a
victim in a civil suit against Rev. Lawrence M. Gibbs, a Joliet
priest, says he's received calls from other victims, including 2
mothers linking their children's suicides to Gibb's abuse. The suit
accuses Gibbs of using liquor to force a long-term sexual
relationship on a boy, starting when he was 11. The victim, now 22,
attends Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. The suit says Bishop Joseph
Imesch of the Joliet diocese knowingly transferred Gibbs to a
position at St. Joseph's in charge of altar boys after he was
accused of similar offenses at a church in Lombard. Source: Chicago
2,000 SUPPORT MINISTER MOLESTER. About 75 supporters from the
Universal Church picketed before the Criminal Courts Building in
Chicago in support of Rev. Paul Hall, 47, convicted of sexually
abusing a boy, 13, in 1989. He had been free on appeal since then.
His 4-year sentence began in January. The Illinois Appellate Court,
which denied him a rehearing, received more than 2,000 letters in
his behalf. Source: Chicago Sun-Times.
CIVIL SUIT AGAINST PRIEST NOT SEALED. A Sangamon Co. judge
to seal a court file detailing charges by a Decatur woman that Rev.
Kevin Sullivan, priest at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Decatur,
exploited their priest-parishioner relationship to take sexual
advantage of her for 8 years, arrange an abortion when she got
pregnant, tell others she was "crazy" & had a "fatal attraction" to
him, & refuse to administer sacraments to her. Source: Decatur
ZION CHURCH JANITOR GETS PROBATION. A janitor at Christian
Church in Zion, Thoeun Duong, was sentenced to 24 months probation
8 months work-release, plus fines & costs, for fondling a girl, 11,
in the church parking lot in June. He had molested his daughter's
friend, after driving them to church & Sunday School. Source: Zion-
*** INDIANA ***
NEW LAWSUIT AGAINST INDIANA PRIEST. Former priest James
accused of bribing and inducing an altar boy to perform
nonconsensual sex acts, in a civil suit filed in April. Also named
is the Fort Wayne-South Bend Diocese. Blume and the diocese were
named in a lawsuit in November by another man who said he was
sexually abused as a 14-year-old altar boy. Source: Indianapolis
FORT WAYNE DIOCESE SUED. Darren M. Robertson, 25, filed suit
the Catholic Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend & priest Robert
Mahoney of Ancilla College, for sexually assaulting, battering,
raping & abusing him at Our Lady of Hungary School in South Bend.
Robertson says Mahoney & various agents of the diocese advised him
never to mention the sexual abuse & conspired to keep it a secret.
Source: Marshall Co. Life.
PLEA BARGAIN FOR PRIEST. The Rev. Myles Patrick White, 51, will
serve 4 years in prison under a plea suggested by Indiana
prosecutors, who discovered the priest had molested minors when a
videotape purchased at a flea market revealed the priest molesting a
boy. The sentencing will occur March 5. White faces 5 additional
sexual misconduct charges in Illinois. He served in both Culver,
Indiana & Kankakee, Illinois. Source: Indianapolis Star.
*** IOWA ***
LUTHERAN PASTOR NABBED. Dirk van der Linde, 43, pastor at
Lutheran Church, Waterloo, was charged with intent to commit
abuse of a boy, 14. He is affiliated with the Missouri Synod.
Relatives complained about a 2 month delay in arresting him. An
said she believed the delay stemmed from racism, because the victim
is black & the minister white. "It would not be this way if it had
been a black minister molesting a white child," she said. Source:
Waterloo Courier, Des Moines Register.
"SOUND DOCTRINE" PASTOR QUITS. After nearly 20 years as pastor,
Wendell Beets, of Sound Doctrine Church, resigned following a claim
of sexual impropriety with a female church member, 19. A married
couple who were also ministers at the church expressed indignation
that "he would attack a 19-year-old girl", & concern that Beets will
start a new church & continue preying on the congregation. Louise &
Clarence Ellis of Cedar Rapids say others have criticized them for
speaking out against Beets. Source: Cedar Rapids Gazette.
PRIEST CHARGED WITH ABUSING BOY, 14. Father Toussaint J. Perron,
was charged with aggravated criminal sexual abuse for abusing a
14, last year. He presides at St. John's Catholic Church in Walnut &
Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Ohio. Source: Quad City
*** KANSAS ***
BAPTIST YOUTH PASTOR NABBED. Youth minister-Sunday School
William Speaker, 21, of First Baptist Church in Excelsior Springs,
was charged with a felony for sexually molesting a boy, 14, while
chauffeuring him to church activities. Source: Kansas City Star.
JURY ACQUITS PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH. A Louisville jury of 6 men &
women found in favor of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in a $5
million sexual-harassment suit brought by Janet Gellhaus. The
employee claimed her superior Nagy Tawfik sexually harassed her,
pressuring her into a sexual relationship by threatening to fire
her. Church attorney Michael Valenti, apparently conceded the
relationship when he said after the acquittal (shades of the U.S.
Senate): "The lesson should be you need to immediately tell people
about it, you need to immediately investigate your rights, you need
to use some common sense & say 'no'." Source: Presbyterian
BAPTIST PASTOR GOES TO TRIAL. Indicted for 6 counts of aggravated
sexual battery & 5 counts of sexual battery was Rev. George Walker,
64, of New Tazewell, who has pastored a number of area Baptist
churches. He is accused of victimizing a female piano student
instructed by his wife for 4 years. Source: The Daily News
RETIRED PRIEST CHARGED WITH MOLESTATION. Several men have
retired priest of abusing them while he was a teacher. Rev. Earl
Bierman pleaded not guilty in mid-December to charges of molesting
student 18 years ago. Source: Republican-American.
*** LOUISIANA ***
CINEL INVESTIGATOR LOSES JOB. Sgt. George Tolar, chief investigator
of the Dino Cinel case that was thrown out of court in January, lost
his job in February with the Orleans Parish DA's office. Tolar's
testimony about the former priest, who kept a cache of child
pornography at the rectory, had conflicted with that of DA Harry
Connick. Tolar testified he recommended in 1989 that Cinel be
prosecuted for child pornography, but that Connick was only
concerned whether young men recorded having sex with Cinel in
videos were consenting adults. Connick admitted he did not
Cinel earlier to avoid embarrassing the Catholic Church. Judge Frank
Marullo dismissed the charge against Cinel on Jan. 10, saying Cinel
had been told by Tolar in 1989 that Connick would not prosecute him
since the men were of age. Source: Times-Picayune.
*** MARYLAND ***
PRESBYTERIAN REFORM URGED. The Presbyterian General Assembly,
meeting in Baltimore in June, voted 446-78 to recommend abolishing
the statute of limitations for reporting sexual misconduct by
clergy. The church, citing critical proportions, has a 3-year time
limit for reporting sexual misconduct by church officials. The vote
must be ratified by 2/3 of the church's 171 regional presbyteries.
It also voted 491-26 to establish a policy on sexual misconduct,
advising local churches to set up "sexual misconduct response teams"
& notify secular authorities "when appropriate". The adopted policy
said there is evidence that "10-23 percent of clergy nationwide have
engaged in sexualized behavior or sexual contact with parishioners,
clients, employees, etc., within a professional relationship".
ST. LUKE'S HELPS PRIESTS EVADE PROSECUTION? An interview with
officials at St. Luke Institute in Suitland, which has treated 137
priests for sexual disorders since 1985, reveals the center is
openly used to help priests avoid prosecution for sexual abuse of
children. It also revealed that the staff promotes keeping
pedophiliac priests in the ministry, albeit closely monitored. St.
Luke's claims follow-up shows none have been accused of new
misconduct, including 60 remaining in the ministry. Dr. Stephen
Montana claims its treatment is "light years ahead" of that given
James Porter 25 years ago in the Servants of the Paraclete Catholic
treatment center in New Mexico. St. Luke staff agreed offending
priests should not be put in settings placing future children at
risk, but reject the proposal that molesting priests be
automatically barred from the priesthood or church posts. One priest
who had been through therapy admits, "The way I was going I would
have ended up in prison." Sources: New York Times,
*** MASSACHUSETTS ***
"PRAY FOR PRIEST CHARGED WITH RAPE." Rev. Gary A. LaMontagne,
was charged in April with raping a church employee in the rectory of
St. Mary's Church, Westfield in February. He is the second R.C.
priest this year from the Springfield diocese to be charged.
Springfield Bishop John A. Marshall told people not to judge them
yet, but pray for them. LaMontagne's reported victim said he had
touched her sexually on other occasions. She has been harassed by
phone calls since reporting the rape. Westfield police Detective
Sgt. Brian Boldini of Westfield revealed that as soon as the
investigation began in March, the diocese decided to "whisk him out
of the parish. As soon as they were aware, they packed his bags",
transferring him to Holy Family Church in Holyoke. Source:
UNITARIAN GUILTY ON 6 CHARGES. Northboro minister Mack W.
56, was convicted on 6 of 23 charges of sexual assault involving a
Tibetan woman who testified he sexually abused her as a teenager
after offering to sponsor her education in this country. "I came
here with a lot of wonderful dreams, and my dreams were
said the victim, now 23. With the conviction, "I can dream again and
become a whole person again." Rape and assault-battery charges are
still pending against him by another Tibetan woman. Source:
Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
LAVIGNE INDICTED BY JURY. Shelburne Falls priest Richard R.
was indicted in February by a grand jury for molesting 5 victims,
which supersedes fall molestation charges at the district court
level. He faces greater penalties if convicted in superior court.
Nearly 500 supporters signed onto a legal brief in support of
Lavigne's bid to separate the 5 indictments. Source: Springfield
POLISH PRIEST GETS WRIST SLAP. Charges of raping a 16-year-old
Poland were dropped against Rev. Julian Pagacz, 50, pastor of St.
Valentine's Polish National Catholic Church in Northampton, after
she refused to testify. Charges of indecently assaulting a Hampshire
Co. girl, age 17, were plea-bargained down to one charge of indecent
touch. Pagacz was accused of threatening to deport the Polish girl
if she reported the rape. A judge ordered him to turn over the
girl's passport, as well as his own. He also denies a charge by a
neighbor that she and her husband caught him looking in her
late one night and that she had stopped sunbathing in the backyard
because he ogled her. She wrote out a trespass notice against him
and informed the church, but was told "he wouldn't do that". Angry
parishioners decried the women's complaints as a "witch hunt".
Follower Ellen Mierzewski called one of the alleged victims "a
Communist who thought she'd get money out of it". Source: Springfield Union-News, Sun-Republican, Boston Globe.
RAPIST-MINISTER GETS 12 YEARS FOR INCEST. Suspended associate
of a Tucson Episcopal church, Stephen P. Apthorp, 56, pleaded guilty
in Massachusetts to repeatedly raping his stepdaughter between her
10th and 16th birthday, an estimated 830 incidents of abuse. He was
sentenced to 12 years in prison. Charges included indecent assault
and battery, rape and distribution of pornographic materials to a
minor. The assaults began in 1980 when a Lincoln, Mass.
asked him to leave because he was abusing alcohol, ignoring their
problems, and "using the women of the parish like they were some
kind of fringe benefit", Apthorp said. He was suspended from the
Tucson church. His contract as a counselor for Tucson General
Hospital's Westcenter was not renewed. He gave nationwide worships
and lectures based on a book of advice for clergy with alcohol and
drug addictions. The 21-year-old victim, who publicly identified
herself as Mimi Coleman, noted the betrayal made her suicidal, gave
her eating disorders and nightmares, shameful feelings over sex,
continuing gynecological problems, feelings of someone always
watching her, feelings of panic whenever she sees a man in a
clerical collar, and feelings that she is a freak. "Never have I
seen him practice what he preached, and I heard him preach a lot."
Source: Arizona Daily Star, Boston Herald,
NO END TO WORCESTER DIOCESE SCANDALS? A man saying he was
years ago by Rev. Victor Frobas, Worcester Diocese, has contacted
the DA's office. Frobas was assigned to the parish while receiving
psychological treatment at the House of Affirmation in Whitinsville.
"I want him prosecuted," says victim Robert A. Malo, who was an 11
year old altar boy at the time of the described assaults. He said
the priest talked about God while he raped him, saying "This is OK
because I'm a priest." Malo accused then-Bishop Bernard J. Flanagan
of refusing to act on parental complaints, which Flanagan denied.
Three other victims came forward also accusing the priest of abusing
them, as well as 3 parents of others believed to have been
victimized. One mother said her son was assaulted while taking a
shower with Frobas. Another said when he was 9, he was forced to
watch the priest masturbate. Frobas was convicted in St. Louis of
sexual abuse & deviant sexual assault, & served 2 of his 4 year
sentence. Source: Boston Globe.
BARRE PRIEST CHARGED: PHOTOGRAPHED NUDE BOY. Father Ronald D.
Provost, 53, pastor of St. Joseph's Church in Barre, was charged
with taking photographs of a nude boy. Provost left the parish
earlier for counseling at St. Luke Institute. A man at the Greenwood
Memorial Pool in Gardner told police he saw Provost taking photos of
7-10-year old boys in the locker room as they changed clothing.
Police confiscated the film. He admitted having pedophiliac
tendencies, of taking numerous pictures of boys at athletic
functions he organized, keeping the photos in his church rectory
bedroom. Police found photos dating from 1977. Provost, very
popular, had been dubbed a modern "Pied Piper" in a 1988 news
Sources: Boston Globe, Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
FUGITIVE PRIEST LOCATED. Rev. Joseph Fredette, who disappeared in
1974 after being charged with molesting 2 teenagers in Worcester,
fled to Canada. Fredette founded a halfway house for the state
Department of Youth Services in 1970. Prior to that, he had worked
12 years as a teacher & Boy Scout leader at Assumption Preparatory
School. He faces 6 counts of moral offenses, & 2 counts of assault &
battery. Officials initially scoffed at allegations he abused boys,
saying they could not believe delinquent boys over an established
priest. Then they apparently failed to search for the fleeing
priest. Fredette, now 59, first fled to the Pope John XXIII Retreat
in New York, then went to Canada. Relatives of some of his alleged
victims traced him. After a year as parish priest in New Brunswick,
he had alienated the parish, & established what critics call a cult
hermitage. In January a provincial supervisor finally said Fredette
would be suspended while they investigated charges. That
announcement came in the midst of a Massachusetts murder trial in
which the defendant, accused of slaughtering his family, in part
defended himself by saying Fredette, his uncle, had molested him as
a child. Sources: Worcester Telegram, Boston Globe, Boston Globe.
"MASSACHUSETTS-TO-NEW MEXICO PERVERT PIPELINE." Priest Rev.
Holley, 65, believed to have molested young boys in his 25-year
career as a parish priest in at least 4 dioceses in Massachusetts,
New Mexico & Texas, was sued by 2 men in December. Joe
28, of Minneapolis & Mark Sanchez, 35, of Albuquerque, allege that
Holley was free to assault countless children because the church
failed to stop him. Both men say he repeatedly molested them in the
1970s in the sacristy & his parish in Alamogordo, N.M., after he was
sent there in 1971 for treatment by the Worcester diocese for
molesting boys. A 40-year-old Boston professional says he & 2
boyhood friends at the age of 10 were forced to engage in repeated
acts of oral sex by Holley at his parish in East Douglas. He said
the priest would show them _Playboy_ or pornographic cards in the
rectory, expose himself & molest them. The Catholic Servants of the
Paraclete periodically released him to work with children throughout
the Southwest. At least 27 other victims came forward attesting to
similar abuse in El Paso, 8 of them also filing suit. The El Paso
victims charge he photographed them, forced them to visit sex shops
& engage in sex while they were altar boys & yard workers. Holley
wound up working in Denver, with the Archdiocese there claiming it
had no idea of his record of abuse. Attorney Bruce Pasternack
alleged, "New Mexico is a dumping ground for pedophile priests. The
church had them say prayers & rosaries, then they released them for
sexual sabbaticals with young boys." Holley's case is another
example of the "Massachusetts-To-New Mexico pervert pipeline."
could he have gone from church to church across the country doing
things like this for 25 years? Were there no adults willing to stand
up?" asked the Boston victim. Roderick MacLeish, Jr., the Boston
attorney who recently sealed a lawsuit against the diocese for more
than 60 victims of James Porter, is urging the Worcester DA to
investigate & prosecute Holley. Sources: Rocky Mountain News, Boston Globe, Boston Globe.
PRIEST-THERAPIST ADMITS SEX WITH NUN. Monsignor Leo Battista,
surrendered his state social workers license in 1991, admits
initiating a sexual relationship with a suicidal nun he was
counseling, from 1972-1977. He is pastor of St. Anna's parish in
Leominster, under the diocese of Worcester. The former nun, who
her order during the "therapy", filed a complaint with the state
Board of Registration of Social Workers in Boston in 1990. She said
Battista once had sex with her hours after she had attempted suicide
by swallowing a bottle of painkillers followed by liquor. The next
morning she slashed her wrists with a razor blade & was hospitalized
as a psychiatric patient for 19 days. Counsel for that board advised
the priest that in voluntarily giving up his license he was
admitting "you engaged in an inappropriate, intimate relationship
with her while you were providing therapeutic services to her in
what she understood to be your capacity as a social worker". Source:
WORCESTER DIOCESE REWARDS DIRTY-TALKING PRIEST. The
Diocese, stung by the expose of molesting priests, publicly claims
it will be more responsive to complaints about priestly misconduct.
However, the father of a 14-year-old altar boy told media it has
stonewalled their family's March 1992 complaint that their parish
priest had subjected their son to constant sexually suggestive &
abusive language & gestures. As of August, no action had been taken.
The priest had repeatedly referred to "jerking off", "dick", accused
their son of being gay & of having anal intercourse, & even accused
him of masturbating in the back seat of a car "because the windows
were foggy". The diocese claims "there is nothing to this", & the
unnamed priest has been promoted to supervising altar boys as well
as religious classes. Source: Boston Globe.
PORTER UPDATE. Former priest James Porter, convicted of molesting
babysitter in Minnesota in December, faces multiple criminal charges
in Massachusetts, where many victims recently settled out-of-court,
as well as civil claims in Minnesota and New Mexico. Porter admitted
he molested "a number of children", leaving a trail of hundreds of
victims wherever the church transferred him in Massachusetts, New
Mexico, and Minnesota to cover up the crimes. 97 people in 3 states
brought combined civil suits. More than 200 people have alleged
molestation by him. In late January Porter was sentences in
Minnesota to 6 months in jail & probation on a 12/12 conviction for
6 counts of 4th-degree criminal sexual conduct in 1987 against a
babysitter, 15. Porter's sister-in-law came forward in October to
say Porter had molested her on an almost-daily basis during the
mid- 1980s when she lived in his basement. Sources: Boston Globe, New York Times, Providence Journal, Boston Herald; AP.
FALL RIVER PRIEST ON LEAVE. Taunton priest Paul Connolly was put
leave following accusations that he molested children at a Fall
River church in the early 1960s, about the same time James Porter is
accused of racking up victims. A man, now 41, says the priest abused
him & at least 10 other Fall River boys. A parent informed the
bishop, who transferred Connolly to Hyannis. Source: AP/Boston Globe.
FALL RIVER DIOCESE ANNOUNCES POLICY. The Fall River diocese,
implicated in the James Porter scandal, announced a detailed policy
on priestly misconduct. A representative of the bishop would
investigate allegations quickly with a review team following up &
indicating they will report accusations to civil authorities. "No
diagnosed pedophile will receive an assignment in the Diocese of
Fall River." Source: Standard Times.
CATHOLIC CHURCH A "CESSPOOL"? A man alleges he was sexually
by a priest at Cathedral Camp in Freetown between 1956 & 1960.
Calling the camp a "complete cesspool", he said other children were
also molested. His attorney Roderick MacLeish, Jr. said he has given
the Fall River diocese the name of the priest. Former priest James
Porter was also accused of molesting at least one minor at the camp
during those years. That victim was among the 68 men & women
accepted an out-of-court settlement in December from the Fall River
diocese. Since then 2 other men have alleged being sexually abused
at the camp by a priest other than Porter. Source: Boston Herald.
BOSTON PRIEST TAKES PRAYERFUL LEAVE. Tyngsborough priest Rev.
T.Raymond Sullivan is on leave after a woman alleged sexual
misconduct. Cardinal Bernard Law asked for prayer that "all those
affected by the developments may experience God's consolation &
strength & that both justice & truth will prevail". Source: Boston
BOSTON ARCHDIOCESE REOPENS SEX CASES. Cardinal Bernard Law
a new review board will reopen every case of child sexual abuse by
still-living priests in the archdiocese of Boston. The new procedure
was prompted by the James Porter scandal racking Boston & other
dioceses. The archdiocese just adopted a policy for dealing with
abuse by priests, & telling victims of their right to file charges.
It will also set up a committee to study whether priests are
"adequately educated" about sexual abuse. On the board will be 3
priests, a deacon, an attorney, a psychiatrist, & a retired Supreme
Court justice, Edward Hennessey. A priest & a nun will hear &
investigate complaints. An accused priest will be suspended pending
investigation. If the church finds evidence, the archbishop "could"
assign him to a treatment program, reassign him to a supervised
position, limit activities, remove him or "invite him to resign".
Despite the appearance of doing the right thing, saying his policy
will require reporting abuse cases when compelled by law, in
actuality, Law claims: "The ordinary work of a priest is not covered
by that kind of demand for reporting & this policy does not call for
reporting to legal authorities." Law claims the matter should be
kept in the "family" & handled "pastorally". Only when a priest
worked as a school counselor, for example, would the archdiocese
consider it legally necessary to report allegations. Sources:
Boston Globe, AP/Toledo Blade.
ARROGANT BISHOP COMPLAINS ABOUT MEDIA. In announcing a 9-
Catholic commission will now investigate misconduct complaints
against priests, Bishop John A. Marshall complained that 2 1992
convictions of molesting priests in his diocese, Richard R. Lavigne
and Gary A. LaMontagne, were "magnified beyond all perception ...
The Roman Catholic Church seems to be the only institution in this
whole country that has been singled out in this fashion." The
diocese has a hotline number, & said if its members deem the
complaints "legitimate & serious", they will recommend "corrective
action" to the bishop, then inform civil authorities. "You get the
impression sometimes that people think we are coddling these
because we don't ... chop their heads off. They are human beings &
they need help," Marshall said. Source: Springfield Union-News.
LUTHERAN MINISTER REMOVED. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in
America removed Rev. Wendell Henkenmeier of Marblehead from
ministry after a panel found him guilty of sexual misconduct &
destructive practices during counseling of 5 victims. Source:
SUNDAY SCHOOL TEACHER IMPRISONED. Groton Sunday School
Leslie Richard Danielson, 63, was sentenced to 5-10 years after
pleading guilty to sexually abusing 6 children under 14 years. He is
already serving up to 10 years for a 1991 conviction involving 4
other children, but will be eligible for parole in 4 years. Source:
*** MICHIGAN ***
BAPTIST CONVICTED OF RAPING BOY. A jury convicted Baptist
Edward Quakenbush, of New Testament Baptist Church, town of
of raping & molesting a teenage boy in his church over a 4-year
period, starting when he was 12. Members of his church & family
sobbed & shouted at jurors & a police detective who testified that
the pastor had confessed to the molestations. Quakenbush later
denied confessing. Source: AP/Daily Telegram, Adrian, Ml.
BRONSON MINISTER ARRAIGNED. First Congregational Church
David Covert Moore was charged with 5 counts of criminal sexual
conduct of 4 children under the age of 15. In July he checked
himself into Pine Rest Christian Counseling Services in Grand
Rapids. Source: Jackson Citizen Patriot.
CHURCH EVANGELIZERS PREYED ON LOW-INCOME KIDS. Men from a
Baptist church known for its aggressive evangelizing of children are
suspected of molesting as many as 22 boys & girls. The associate
pastor, volunteer bus driver & a third church member are believed
have fondled some & raped others, ranging in age from 3 to 10, on
church buses & property. Charges involving 10 victims were brought
against Associate Pastor Timothy Lee Leonard, 32, of North Sharon
Baptist Church near Grass Lake, & volunteer Sunday school bus
driver, church deacon Mark Foeller. Three other church members are
being investigated. The suspects went to low-income housing projects
or trailer parks in 4 counties, telling parents they would "take the
children to church & teach them about God", according to Det. Robert
Fitzpatrick, Jackson Co. Men would walk up to children in their
yards, coaxing them with treats to come to weekend services or
summer _Bible_ school. Leonard was relieved of church duties
involving children in August, after police started investigating him
when a doctor reported suspected abuse in a child with a sexual
disease. He also worked as instructor & gym teacher in the North
Sharon Christian School, enrolling about 65 students. Church
were not informed, even after the arrests. In November, Gail Ganger,
who lives 5 houses from the church, organized a Sunday morning
picket after learning that the church secretary knew about the
allegations, yet still recommended Leonard as a babysitter for her
children. He & his wife Nadine had babysat for her 3 children 7
times since Oct. 1. About 2 dozen protesters carried signs saying
"Close It Down." "The church knew about the allegations of child
molesting, but nobody told me about it. This church should not be
able to carry on business as usual," she said. "What a wonderful
thing it is to be part of a church where adversity happens," said
Rev. Bill Wininger, senior pastor. In January, Leonard was released
after 72 days in jail after 10 charges were dropped over the
objections of the DA by Washtenaw Co. Dist. Judge Thomas Shea,
saying victims were either too young to testify or could not
pinpoint the time of their assaults. Leonard still faces 2 2nd
degree criminal sexual conduct charges. Although he resigned from
the church, church funds are being used to help support his family &
pay his legal expenses. The pastor said if he is acquitted, "I'm
sure he would be welcomed back with open arms." Sources:
Ypsilanti Press, Detroit Free Press, Toledo Blade, Jackson Citizen Patriot.
*** MINNESOTA ***
LUTHERAN LEADER ADMITS CHARGES. Lutheran pastor David L.
admitted having sexual relations with a number of boys and young
while pastor of a leading Lutheran congregation in Moorehead, Minn.
He resigned from the clergy of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in
America and as vice president for college relations in St. Olaf
College in April, admitting sexual misconduct with minors, college
students, and male parishioners from 1973-1985. He confessed only
after a parishioner approached a staff member at the 4,000 member
church with allegations in March. Source: Star Tribune.
PUNITIVE DAMAGES UPHELD. The Minnesota Court of Appeals on
upheld a court order requiring 2 Catholic dioceses to pay punitive
damages to a victim of sexual abuse. The $187,000 award would not
covered by insurance, and thus was appealed by the Archdiocese of
St. Paul, Minneapolis and Diocese of Winona as a violation of
"religious freedom". The damages resulted from a civil suit
involving Thomas Adamson, who was moved from parish to parish
no restrictions despite repeated evidence and allegations of his
abuse to children. Compensatory damages of $855,000 were not
challenged. Source: Christian Century.
RETIRED PRIEST PLEADS GUILTY. The Rev. Henry Caniere, 71, of
pleaded guilty to 3 counts of child sexual abuse. Source: Grand
STANDING OVATION FOR BISHOP. Bishop Gerald O'Keefe of the
diocese received a standing ovation at Our Lady of Victory Church
the day after news hit that 2 Minnesota women filed lawsuits
accusing him of sexually abusing them 30 years ago. They say
molested them on the grounds of St. Paul Cathedral in the 1960s
he was auxiliary bishop of St. Paul-Minneapolis and rector there.
One was 9 to 12 years old, the other 7 to 9. They are represented by
Jeffrey Anderson, who has represented victims of clergy in more
100 cases in 23 states. Source: Des Moines Register.
WOMAN SUES NUN FOR ABUSE. A Minnesota woman filed suit against
for sexually abusing her for 3 years while she was a teenager.
Sister Georgene Stuppy "regularly and repeatedly engaged in
unpermitted, harmful and offensive sexual contact" from 1978-1981
a parochial school, and in the nun's convent room. The case is being
handled by Jeffrey Anderson of St. Paul. Also named as defendants
are the Sisters of the Third Order Regular of St. Francis of the
Congregation of Our Lady of Lourdes in Rochester, and Queen Of
Angels Church in Austin. An attorney for Queen of Angels said: "We
deny any responsibility in the matter." Anderson said Stuppy
acknowledges engaging in sexual conduct with the girl, but claims a
spiritual purpose, not sexual gratification. Source: Star Tribune.
[See Porter Update under "Massachusetts".]
73-YEAR-OLD PRIEST GUILTY. The parish priest at Holy Family
Church in Bull Dog Lake pleaded guilty to charges of molesting 2
teenagers, ages 14 & 19, over a 3-year period. Rev. Victor
Chateauvert, 73, accepted a tentative plea agreement to be placed on
probation & complete a sex offender's treatment program at the
church's unlicensed treatment center in New Mexico. Source:
ANOTHER BENEDICTINE SUED. Another priest at St. John's Abbey in
Collegeville was accused of molesting a male student at the prep
school in the 1980s. A suit accuses Rev. Allen Tarlton of molesting
him at least 3 times in his capacity as counselor, teacher &
confidant. It is the 5th suit filed in 2 years against a member of
the Order of St. Benedict who run the school. Three other suits,
filed by attorney Jeff Anderson, accuse priests of abuse at the same
school. The other suit charges a Benedictine brother at a rural
parish near St. Cloud. One suit has been settled. Source: Star
LUTHERAN PASTOR RESIGNS. For the third time Rev. Rod Broding has
left a job after being accused of sexual improprieties. The Lutheran
pastor resigned from First Lutheran Church in Pine River following
accusations he admitted to sexual misconduct there, but denies
earlier accusations. Bishop Roger Munson, who oversees the
Northeastern Minnesota synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in
America, said, "The church will assist in providing counseling to
work through this turmoil & pain so that healing & wholeness can be
experienced in their lives." Source: Star Tribune.
*** MISSOURI ***
AIR FORCE CHAPLAIN RAIDED. Deputies raided the home of Veterans
Administration chaplain Rev. Donald G. Phillips, of Butler County,
seizing 500 video tapes, movie equipment and restraints following a
tip that he produced pornographic movies with young girls. The
Baptist minister recently received the highest recognition awarded a
VA chaplain, "the Award for Excellence in Chaplain Service". Source:
St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
VICTIM SUES JEFFERSON CITY DIOCESE. David Clohessy, 35, filed suit
last year against the Diocese of Jefferson City and his childhood
parish priest, a family friend for whom he performed rectory chores.
The priest began taking him on trips to the Ozarks and out of state,
and first abused him on a camping trip when he was feeling ill. His
suit, argued by attorney Jeff Anderson, alleges abuse from 1967 to
1971, and is being fought by the diocese. Source: Kansas City Star.
PRIEST GOES TO PRISON. Hillsboro priest Donald Heck, 57, was
sentenced to 4 years in prison for fondling an altar boy, 11, 2
years ago, following a no-contest plea. Source: Boston Globe.
*** MONTANA ***
CIVIL SUITS NAME PRIEST. A Missoula man filed suit against priest
Wilson F. Smart and the bishop of Helena, for suffering sexual abuse
during the 1960s. "J.R." was a 13-year-old altar boy in Missoula in
1962 and was molested for 9 months, following the death of his
father. He says the bishop and many priests to whom he confessed
knew of the abuse, yet did not remove Smart from contact with
children and teenagers. He is represented by Bozeman attorney
Beck. This joins a suit filed a year ago against Smart by a former
Butte man, who is also suing the Helena diocese and Archbishop
Raymond Hunthausen of Seattle, who formerly served in Helena. The
other plaintiff alleges 8 years of sexual abuse starting in 1967,
which included molestation, rape, and pornography. Source:
RELIGIOUS BROADCASTER MOLESTED GIRLS. Well-known former
Tom Speed, 35, for Billings Christian radio pleaded guilty to
sexually molesting 6 girls ranging in age from 4 to 14, who were at
his home for day-care or piano lessons. Source: Missoulian.
*** NEW HAMPSHIRE ***
BAPTIST VOLUNTEER CONVICTED. Granite State Baptist Church
David Kirsch, 39, of Salem, was convicted of sexually assaulting 6
young girls through the church from the late 1970s to the mid-
Source: USA Today.
*** NEW JERSEY ***
CLERIC FACES INCEST, RAPE CHARGES. Rev. Eugenio Matos of Spanish
Mennonite Church, Trenton, father of 12, was charged in March with
raping his daughter from the time she was 5 to 15 years. In April he
was charged with endangering welfare of a child and 2 counts of
aggravated sexual assault when a 23-year-old woman told
investigators he repeatedly raped her while she was between the
of 8 and 10. Source: Trenton Times.
FUGITIVE PRIEST INDICTED FOR MOLESTING GIRL, 13. Medford
Florencio Tumang, 69, was indicted for fondling a girl, 13, at a
youth activity in April at St. Mary of the Lakes R.C. Church, where
he has served 8 years. He went fugitive after confronted by the
girl's mother and could face 5 years in prison. Source:
PRIEST BUSTED ON MOLESTATIONS. Pastor of Sacred Heart Jesus
in Rockaway, Rev. John G. Pisarcik, 47, was suspended from duties at
the church and a church college, after he was charged with molesting
2 boys, one in 1989 who is now 13, and another last summer who is
now 12. Source: Star Ledger.
MINISTER & GIRLFRIEND INDICTED. Trenton pastor Franklin Tucker,
Final Call Ministry, was indicted for molesting his girlfriend's
daughters, 9 & 15. His girlfriend was indicted for forcing her
daughters to recant the allegations to police. The abuse came to
light when the 9-year-old told a school official, who contacted
police. Source: Trenton Times.
VICTORY FOR MOLESTED. Gov. Jim Florio signed a bill permitting
childhood victims of sexual abuse to sue molesters years, sometimes
even decades, after the abuse occu