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AP Survey of Abuse Cases (continued)

MARYLAND

A priest in the Baltimore Archdiocese was charged this month with lying to police to cover up his encounter with a male prostitute. Church officials have removed the Rev. Steven Paul Girard from duty. Archdiocese spokesman Ray Kempisty said the church also has received calls from alleged abuse victims, which it is now checking, but none of the cases involved priests currently in ministry. The incidents allegedly happened decades ago, he said.

Two lay teachers at Catholic schools have also been charged with having inappropriate contact with female students this year.

MASSACHUSETTS

Boston has been the epicenter of the growing sexual abuse scandal since January, when church documents released as part of a civil lawsuit showed the archdiocese moved serial molester John Geoghan from parish to parish despite allegations of sexual abuse of children.

Since then, nearly 500 people have come forward claiming they were abused by Boston-area priests. The archdiocese itself sent prosecutors the names of 87 priests accused of sexual misconduct over the past 50 years. Further revelations that the archdiocese did little about repeated allegations against the Rev. Paul Shanley, known as a proponent of sex between men and boys, only intensified public outrage and boosted calls for the resignation of Cardinal Bernard Law.

Law, who made a secret trip to Rome prior to last week's Vatican (news - web sites) summit, has so far rejected the idea of giving up his post. He said the subject of his possible resignation "never came up" at the meeting.

MICHIGAN

At least seven priests have resigned or been removed this year amid sexual misconduct allegations. In at least five cases, the charges involved minors. Another priest, removed last year, was charged April 5 with raping a 48-year-old woman.

Five of the state's seven Roman Catholic dioceses say they're reviewing sexual abuse policies, and church leaders have addressed the scandal from the pulpit, or in letters and discussions with clergy.

In April, the Archdiocese of Detroit relented to pressure from prosecutors and agreed to hand over internal reports about its investigations of clergy sex abuse.

While state law doesn't require clergy to turn over information about abuse, two of the state's dioceses say their policies require such information be given to authorities. There has been talk among lawmakers about including clergy in reporting requirements.

MINNESOTA

No allegations of sexual misconduct have surfaced in Minnesota's five Catholic dioceses this year, though the dioceses of Minneapolis/St. Paul, Crookston and Duluth are reviewing their policies for investigating allegations of sexual misconduct.

In response to lobbying by a victim of a priest's sexual abuse, the Legislature considered giving Minnesotans more time to file claims of childhood sexual abuse. The proposal was opposed by local churches and other child-serving institutions and died in the state House on April 9.

MISSISSIPPI

Church officials have acknowledged two abuse-related cases, one in which a priest was suspended from his duties, but have not released the names of the priests or other details.

The Rev. Michael Flannery of the Jackson Diocese said a committee composed of a state appeals court judge, two attorneys, a nurse and three clinical psychologists, has reviewed the church's sex abuse policies and is considering a revision this summer.

MISSOURI

More than a half-dozen priests have been removed since the scandal broke in January. Among them was the Rev. Bryan Kuchar, 36, of the St. Louis area, who was criminally charged April 11 with sexually abusing a teen-age boy in 1995.

The Jefferson City Diocese has also closed St. Thomas Seminary in Hannibal, Mo., where former Palm Beach, Fla., Bishop Anthony O'Connell allegedly abused several seminarians from the late 1960s through the 1980s. In closing the seminary, Bishop John Gaydos said the scandal has made recruitment all but impossible.

In St. Louis, a man who was forced out of the priesthood in 1977 amid sexual abuse allegations was arrested earlier this month for allegedly exposing himself to boys at the St. Louis grade school where he worked as a counselor. Archdiocese and school officials have argued about how James Beine was allowed to work in nearly a dozen schools since he left the clergy.

The Rev. Joseph Hart was twice accused of sexual misconduct with boys while he served the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph during the 1960s and 1970s. He later became bishop for the Diocese of Cheyenne, Wyo., and has since retired. He has denied the allegations.

MONTANA

Three people in the Great Falls-Billings Diocese have come forward this year to tell church officials they were sexually abused by priests years ago. The church is investigating all reports, two of which date from 30 to 40 years ago. The other involves a priest who officials believe is no longer active in the ministry.

NEBRASKA

The Omaha Archdiocese dismissed a 62-year-old priest from his job as a pastor and allowed him retire early following accusations that he sexually abused boys at four parishes more than 30 years ago. The claims against the Rev. Thomas Sellentin are too old to be prosecuted in criminal court. No civil lawsuits have been filed.

The Rev. Robert Allgaier is to stand trial in June on charges of attempted possession of child pornography and has been suspended from his duties. After being caught in one parish, Allgaier admitted to church officials he often viewed child porn, but the Omaha archdiocese never notified police. Instead, Allgaier was transferred to another parish where he was a middle-school teacher. Allgaier was arrested in February after police received a tip from a concerned teacher.

NEVADA

A priest in a Las Vegas suburb was charged last week with fondling, photographing and massaging teen-age boys he was counseling at his parish.

Rev. Mark Roberts, 51, was charged with two felonies for allegedly using minors in the production of pornography after being accused of taking Polaroid photos of two boys. He also faces seven gross misdemeanor charges, including lewdness and child abuse.

The Diocese of Las Vegas says the Roberts case is the only one in Nevada involving an active Catholic clergy member accused of sexual misconduct. He was suspended Jan. 30 from his parish in Henderson.

The case became public after eight boys filed a civil lawsuit in March against Roberts, the diocese, Bishop Joseph A. Pepe, and former Las Vegas Bishop Daniel Walsh, now bishop in Santa Rosa, Calif.

NEW HAMPSHIRE

The Diocese of Manchester in February gave prosecutors the names of 14 priests with allegations of sex abuse against them. Seven already were suspended, the others were suspended that day. The diocese released the name of another previously suspended priest a month later. Authorities are still investigating the claims.

On Friday, allegations surfaced against two more priests. The Rev. George H. Robichaud was arrested and charged with sexually assaulting a boy in 1985. The Rev. Edward D. Richard was removed from his church pending an abuse investigation.

The state attorney general's office has said it is investigating allegations against more than 40 others. Those complaints were made to authorities by alleged victims.

Bishop John B. McCormack, who was in charge of ministerial personnel in the Archdiocese of Boston from 1984 to 1994, has been accused in lawsuits of shuffling around Massachusetts priests accused of abusing children, and of ignoring complaints about them. He stepped down this month as chairman of a national committee studying the scandal for the U.S. bishops' conference.

NEW JERSEY

The state's five dioceses have been providing authorities the names priests and staff accused of abuse, though prosecutors have often found the cases are too old for criminal charges.

The Archdiocese of Newark relieved two priests following allegations of abuse or inappropriate conduct. The Trenton Diocese screened 50 years of records for sex abuse allegations, removed one priest and provided authorities the names of 13. Camden Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio supplied prosecutors the names of 19 priests, 12 of whom had already been named in lawsuits against the diocese. The remainder were no longer active in the ministry. One lawsuit against the diocese is being tried. Two priests in the Metuchen Diocese have taken leaves of absence after the diocese learned of abuse allegations, one dating back 20 years and the other to the 1950s and 1960s. The Diocese of Paterson has placed two priests on administrative leave after learning of allegations they had sexual contact with minors more than two decades ago.

NEW MEXICO

The Archdiocese of Santa Fe, covering most of New Mexico, was battered by sex scandals in the early 1990s but has not been hit with "credible" new accusations in recent years, Archbishop Michael Sheehan told a news conference Friday. Even so, he said two priests have been removed in recent weeks from parish duties, one based on old complaints and a second as a precaution even though allegations were unsubstantiated from a third-person source. Bishop Ricardo Ramirez of Las Cruces said his diocese sent a priest back to New York, where he had been accused of abusing minors.

NEW YORK

Soon after the Boston scandals erupted early the year, questions began to arise about clergy sex abuse in the New York City area.

With public scrutiny rising, the New York Archdiocese and the Brooklyn and Rockville Centre dioceses each turned over information about accusations against priests to district attorneys.

New York Cardinal Edward Egan has been criticized for his handling of allegations against priests when he was bishop of Bridgeport, Conn., and released a letter before the Vatican summit saying he apologized "if, in hindsight," he made any mistakes in handling such charges. The New York Archdiocese has also freed sex abuse victims from any legal promises they made to remain silent about their cases.

One priest on Long Island, the Rev. Michael Hands, was convicted in March of sodomizing a teen-age boy. He faces similar charges in Suffolk County.

Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota announced this month that a special grand jury would be formed to look solely at cases of sexual misconduct involving priests. He has said evidence collected so far indicates a possible cover-up.

In upstate New York, one priest has been reassigned to administrative duties, another has resigned and a third is being investigated by his diocese as the result of sex abuse allegations this year. The complaints all date back a decade or more, and one is at least 30 years old.

NORTH CAROLINA

The Diocese of Raleigh has removed three priests from their parishes after allegations surfaced against them; all the charges originated in other states where they worked.

The Diocese of Charlotte, meanwhile, relieved a priest of his duties last week at a Greensboro parish following allegations of sexually inappropriate behavior in another state.

Charlotte also placed another priest on administrative leave pending the outcome of an abuse investigation. It has also alerted authorities to at least three other cases from 25 years ago or longer.

The Charlotte Diocese confirmed this month that in the 1990s it used its money and insurance funds to pay parents who accused a priest of sexually abusing their sons.

The Raleigh Diocese held a day of prayer April 14 "for the church in crisis."

NORTH DAKOTA

Two western North Dakota priests were stripped of the power to perform sacraments and resigned parish posts after Bishop Paul Zipfel of Bismarck adopted a "zero tolerance" policy toward molestation in March. A third priest resigned as a seminary teacher and is under criminal investigation after telling Fargo Bishop Samuel Aquila in February that he had molested children while a parish priest.

The Bismarck Diocese said that two priests, Steve Zastoupil and Norman Dukart, had admitted molesting children decades ago and had been disciplined. Zipfel's new policy prompted him to ask both men to resign from their parishes. Prosecutors do not plan to file charges.

In the Fargo case, state Crime Bureau agents are interviewing four families as they investigate the Rev. Charles Fischer's conduct while he served parishes between 1995 and 2000. Aquila barred him from performing sacraments, but Fischer has not been charged with a crime.

OHIO

In the Cleveland Diocese, the Rev. Don A. Rooney killed himself earlier this month, just three days after being accused of a molesting a girl in 1980. Eleven priests have been suspended in Cleveland and an independent commission has been created to review policy.

In Cincinnati, prosecutors subpoenaed archdiocese records, and Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk was summoned before a county grand jury April 18.

He was excused from testifying because his office turned over information which authorities were seeking. He is the only U.S. archbishop subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury, according to a leading victims' attorney.

OKLAHOMA

The Archdiocese of Oklahoma City this month republished its 1991 policy regarding sexual abuse allegations from minors; the policy was printed in its newspaper, the Sooner Catholic. The policy quotes an Oklahoma law requiring mandatory reporting of such allegations to law enforcement officials. The archdiocese continuously reviews the policy, said the Rev. Edward Weisenburger.

OREGON

An 82-year-old priest, the Rev. Louis Charvet, was recalled to the Benedictine Abbey in Mount Angel this month pending an investigation of claims by 58-year-old David Schmidt that Charvet and another priest, who has since died, molested him in the 1950s.

Oregon Archbishop John Vlazny has publicly urged victims of priest abuse to contact the archdiocese.

PENNSYLVANIA

At least 23 active priests accused of abuse have been removed from assignments since Jan. 1 as a result of reviews by diocesan officials and new claims by alleged victims.

In all but a few cases, the allegations were decades old. District attorneys throughout the state have pressed church officials for more information on old cases, though the statute of limitations makes prosecutions unlikely.

Philadelphia Cardinal Anthony J. Bevilacqua ordered priests to observe a "day of atonement" last Wednesday. The Philadelphia Archdiocese said in February that credible abuse allegations had been made against 35 priests over five decades.

RHODE ISLAND

The Diocese of Providence suspended the Rev. Normand J. Demers in early April after a man accused him of sexually assaulting him at least 35 years ago. Demers, who has denied the allegations, is the state's only priest to be suspended since Jan. 1.

The Rev. Daniel Azzarone was indicted April 5 on charges he sexually assaulted two people over a one-year period. He was first arrested in November and suspended by the diocese at that time.

SOUTH CAROLINA

The Rev. Juan Carlos Castano of Rock Hill was charged in March with committing a lewd act on a minor for allegedly fondling a 4-year-old girl in her home in September 2000. He is awaiting trial.

The Diocese of Charleston suspended Castano the day before his arrest. He is the state's only priest suspended or otherwise disciplined by the church since Jan. 1, diocese spokesman John Carroll said.

SOUTH DAKOTA

South Dakota has been spared from the scandal: Officials in the Sioux Falls and Rapid City dioceses knew of no recent abuse allegations. The Sioux Falls Diocese has invited the state attorney general's office to review its procedures for handling abuse cases.

TENNESSEE

There have been no allegations of sex abuse by priests. But Catholics were stunned by the resignation of Bishop Anthony O'Connell of Palm Beach Fla., who admitted abusing a seminarian in Missouri decades ago. O'Connell was the founding bishop of the Knoxville Diocese and served there for 10 years beginning in 1988.

TEXAS

Since the Dallas Diocese was hit with a huge 1997 verdict involving a priest who molested altar boys, it has imposed strict guidelines to combat sexual abuse. They require fingerprinting and criminal background checks for all workers, mandate the installation of windows in every office door and forbid adults to be alone with children in certain circumstances. In April, the diocese reassigned two priests for failing to fully implement the background checks.

In the San Antonio Diocese, a priest was suspended for incidents that allegedly occurred more than 30 years ago.

UTAH

In a state where Catholics make up just 8 percent of the population, there have been no major developments in the sex abuse scandal.

VERMONT

The statewide Diocese of Burlington said that since Jan. 1 it has received "a few" allegations of abuse against priests, all dating back decades.

Church leaders met Attorney General William Sorrell (news, bio, voting record) earlier this month to discuss sex abuse, and Sorrell criticized the church following the session for not being responsive enough to his questions.

Sorrell said his office had gathered information independently leading him to believe there were some priests who had committed sexual abuses in the past who were still active in the diocese. He did not suggest a number but said his office had received about a dozen calls.

VIRGINIA

The Diocese of Richmond announced Monday more stringent guidelines for hiring church volunteers. Criminal background checks will now be mandatory for all volunteers, just as they are for lay and religious parish employees, said the Rev. Pasquale Apuzzo, secretary to Bishop Walter F. Sullivan. Previously, background checks on volunteers were optional.

Kathleen Kenney, spokeswoman for the Diocese of Arlington, said no changes have been made to Arlington's sexual abuse policies this year, since they were just reviewed last year.

WASHINGTON

Since Jan. 1, one priest has been accused of molestation. In complaints dating back to the 1960s, five men have alleged the Rev. John Cornelius abused them. Cornelius has denied the allegations. He was placed on paid administrative leave from an Everett parish in April.

A similar allegation was made in 1996, after which the archdiocese demoted him and transferred him from Seattle to Everett.

Cornelius, 50, a former Seattle city police chaplain, has been an adoption activist and has adopted 13 children himself.

WEST VIRGINIA

The Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston is updating its child sexual abuse policy to make it mandatory for priests to report suspected abuse to authorities, conforming to state law. The current policy "includes the expectation" that clergy will report suspected abuse. Bishop Bernard Schmitt has ordered a review of the personnel files of active and retired priests and the files of priests from outside the diocese who are serving in the state. The diocese has declined to discuss the findings.

WISCONSIN

At least nine priests are being investigated on suspicion of sexual abuse of minors. Two of them, one each from the Diocese of Green Bay and the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, have been suspended.

Two of the state's five dioceses have named task forces to review the personnel files of priests. The Archdiocese of Milwaukee is reviewing the cases of all accused archdiocesan priests, while the Green Bay Diocese will examine the files of all its priests.

Milwaukee Archbishop Rembert Weakland also called a meeting of all archdiocesan priests to discuss the sexual abuse scandal.

Earlier this month, Bishop Raphael Fliss of the Diocese of Superior apologized for failing to more thoroughly investigate a priest for alleged sexual misconduct in the early 1980s.

WYOMING

The Diocese of Cheyenne says it has no evidence that any priests have abused minors. Bishop David Ricken may review the diocese's 1994 policy on handling abuse allegations after he attends the June meeting of the U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops. Ricken has assured the faithful that the state's 41 priests can be trusted.


Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
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