Four publicly accused clerics who are not on Omaha"s list of those with "substantiated allegations"

Four publicly accused clerics who are not on Omaha"s list of those with "substantiated allegations"

--Fr. Thomas B. Laughlin, who “admitted to molesting dozens of boys over decades,” was described by a newspaper as “one of Oregon's most notorious pedophile priests,” and who spent “his last years living a quiet existence near family in Omaha.” A Nebraska native, Fr. Laughlin was ordained in Lincoln. He faced numerous civil suits, most of which settled, and was convicted at least once and sentenced to one year in jail. “Laughlin was known as an exceptionally charismatic priest and tremendous church fundraiser who hobnobbed with Portland's Catholic business and political elite,” wrote the Oregonian. 

Laughlin reportedly even abused on his way to a church-run treatment center in New Mexico. The priest was defrocked in 1983 and died in 2013. Fr. Larry Gillick, a Jesuit priest at Creighton University, reportedly knew Laughlin for years and offered him spiritual counsel in his later years.

 --Fr. Alphonsus Ferguson, a native of Ireland, who spent ten years abroad as a member of Franciscan Servants of the Sacred Heart based in Omaha,according to 2014 newspaper articles. He worked in Nebraska, Minneapolis attorney Pat Noaker (612 349 2735[email protected]) told the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Ferguson’s victim was an altar boy at Guardian Angels Church in Hastings, MN in the early 1950s who filed a civil suit in 2014. The priest also worked in Minnesota, New York, Iowa and Ireland. He is deceased.

--Fr. James E. Kelly, who was named as abuser in two 2003 lawsuits filed by individuals who were residents of Fr. Flanagan's Boys Home in Omaha in the 1970s. An Omaha man, Todd Rivers, is one of his accusers. Rivers was represented by Minneapolis attorney Pat Noaker (612 349 2735[email protected]) Kelly left the facility in 1983. Albany’s bishop put him on leave in 2003. At least six other New York victims came forward against Kelly. He was working in Nevadawhen he was put on leave.

--Fr. Michael Patrick Nash, who allegedly molested boys in remote areas of the Juneau Archdiocese in the 1980s. In 2004, Catholic officials in Alaska settled a case against him with one alleged victim for $175,740. In 2005, the Vatican defrocked him.


Nash is a 2006 Creighton Law School graduate who was living in Omaha for at least part of the 2000s. The Iowa Supreme Court ruled that if the former priest passed the bar he could become an attorney. His lawyer in that case was Mark McCormick of Des Moines.

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