Abuse victims blast La Crosse Catholic officials re: secrecy

Victims blast La Crosse bishop on abuse

SNAP: He leaves several predators off his ‘accused’ list

One priest pleaded ‘no contest’ to child sex crimes in 2021

The cleric also admitted 'sexual contact'

Yet church officials refuse to acknowledge his wrongdoing

“At least five other clerics should be added,” group says

SNAP: Young woman’s pending civil suit attracts no attention


Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims will

--blast top La Crosse Catholic officials for leaving several “proven, admitted or credibly accused” child molesting clerics off their ‘credibly accused’ abusers list, including a recently admitted and convicted offender,

--urge the new La Crosse bishop to add the names of the accused abusers, and

--prod anyone who has ‘seen, suspected or suffered’ crimes by any Catholic employee or volunteer to ‘come forward as soon as possible to trusted sources of help, like friends, family, therapists, police, prosecutors or support groups – not church officials.’


Tuesday, June 11 at 1:30 p.m.


On the sidewalk outside St. Joseph the Workman Cathedral, 530 Main Street (corner of 6th) in downtown La Crosse WI


Two child sex abuse victims including a Missouri man who for 30 years headed a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org)


---1) In March 2020, a teenager told police that between September 2015 and May 2017, Fr. Charles “Charlie” Richmond had repeatedly sexually abused her while she attended McDonell Area Catholic High School in Chippewa Falls where Fr. Richmond was chaplain.

In November 2021, in criminal court, Fr. Richmond pleaded ‘no contest’ and was found guilty of 4th-degree sexual assault. That December, he was sentenced to 12 months’ probation. (The criminal case, in Chippewa County Circuit Court, was overseen by Judge James Isaacson.)

In May 2021, as ‘Jane Doe,’ the young woman filed a civil abuse and cover up lawsuit against the school, the diocese and their insurers in Chippewa County court. It is still pending and seeks unspecified damages.

Victims are outraged that, three years after Fr. Richmond pleaded guilty, La Crosse church officials are refusing to add him to their ‘credibly accused’ list.

---2) SNAP has discovered and is disclosing names and information about five publicly accused priests who are ‘under the radar’ in central Wisconsin. Like Fr. Richmond, they too have been left off the official diocesan list of ‘credibly accused’ abusers. Two of them are still alive.

The clerics have been publicly exposed for child sex abuse elsewhere, are or were in the La Crosse diocese, but are virtually unknown here. They are: Fr. John C. Wagner, Fr. Raymond J. Adamsky, Fr. Donald Francis Ulatowski, Fr. Thomas J. Powers and Fr. Bruce A. Schutt. (more detail below)

For “the safety of kids and the healing of victims,” the group is begging La Crosse’s bishop to post on his website the names of and information about these six clerics.


--1) Ordained in 2015, Fr. Richmond also worked at Immaculate Heart of Mary, Winona, St. Peter’s in Tilden, St. Bronislava in Plover, Notre Dame Middle School in Chippewa Falls, Pacelli Middle School and High School in Stevens Point and Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish in Viroqua (all in Wisconsin). Most recently he lived in Viroqua and Wisconsin Rapids. Read more here and here.

Fr. Richmond studied at St. Mary’s University, Immaculate Heart of Mary in Winona MN, Mundelein Seminary near Chicago IL and the University of St. Thomas Aquinas Angelicum in Rome Italy. Fr. Richmond is believed to be 35 years old.

Fr. Richmond’s victim is represented by St. Paul MN attorneys Stacey Benson (651 227 9990), Mike Finnegan (612 205 5531) and Jeff Anderson (612 817 8665), along with local co-counsel Russell Nicolet (608 655 6850) of La Crosse. Fr. Richmond’s lawyer is Matthew Krisch (715 318 2737).

The young woman’s civil abuse and cover up case is still pending.

--2) The credibly accused abusers who are or were in the La Crosse Diocese but are NOT on La Crosse Bishop Gerard Battersby’s official list are:

--Fr. John C. Wagner, who is on the Milwaukee Archdiocese website as "Fully Restricted from Priestly Ministry" because of abuse allegations was in Wausau. He is still alive though his whereabouts are unknown.

In the 1993 Official Catholic Directory, he is shown as "awaiting assignment" and in the 2002 directory as “on leave” (common phrases or euphemisms used regarding abusive priests). Fr. Wagner reportedly remained fully restricted from ministry as of 2012. He was defrocked that same year and his personnel files, which show he was in Wausau, were released 2013.

Read more here and here.

--Fr. Bruce A. Schutt, who in 2018 was added to the Fort Wayne-South Bend Diocese’s ‘credibly accused’ abusers list and worked in the La Crosse Diocese in 1974. He is still alive though his whereabouts are unknown. Read more here, here and here.

--Fr. Raymond J. Adamsky, who was in Wausau to ‘receive treatment,’ has been on the Milwaukee archdiocese's list of priests fully restricted from ministry because of credible allegations of abuse since 2004.

He retired in 1993 after having worked in 11 parishes in 34 years (and been accused of molestation in 1961, 1964, 1965, 1971 and 1983). He passed away in 2014.

Read more here and here.

--Fr. Donald Francis Ulatowski, who was listed as a credibly accused predator priest by the Chicago archdiocese in 2006 and lived in Adams, according to church records. He was ordained in 1956, died away in 1999 and was included in the 2023 Illinois Attorney General's Report on clergy sex abuse. Read more here and here.

--Fr. Thomas J. Powers, who was put on the Jesuits’ list of credibly accused abusive clerics last year. In 1990-1991 was a chaplain at Fort McCoy in Monroe County WI.

A Jesuit, he also taught at Catholic schools in Chicago and three Ohio cities (Cleveland, Cuyahoga Falls and University Heights). He passed away in 2019.

It’s possible that one or all of these clerics molested youngsters in the La Crosse diocese, SNAP says, and may still live in central Wisconsin. So La Crosse church officials should disclose their presence in the diocese and “aggressively use church bulletins, parish websites and pulpit announcements to beg those with information or suspicions about crimes or cover ups to call law enforcement,” SNAP says.


Bishop Battersby (608 788 7700), who heads the La Crosse Diocese, took over last month (replacing Bishop William Callahan).

The La Crosse diocese includes the city of La Crosse and 19 counties: Adams, Buffalo, Chippewa, Clark, Crawford, Dunn, Eu Claire, Jackson, Juneau, La Crosse, Marathon, Monroe, Pepin, Pierce, Portage, Richland, Trempealeau, Vernon and Wood.

The diocese’s official ‘credibly accused’ abusers list, with 42 names, is here.

Photos of some of the accused abusers – including Fr. Richmond - are at BishopAccountability.org


David Clohessy 314 566 9790, [email protected]

SNAP Network is a GuideStar Gold Participant