SD--Victims want bishop to help on abuse

For immediate release: Monday, April 11, 2016

For more information: David Clohessy (314) 566-9790 cell, [email protected], Barbara Dorris (314) 503 0003, [email protected]

Victims urge bishop to act on abuse

Group wants “outreach” about SD predator

He was just sued for child sex crimes in Texas

But he’s an SD native and worked here too

A support group for clergy sex abuse victims is urging South Dakota Catholic officials to “aggressively reach out” to victims of a recently-sued predator priest. 

Last month, Fr. Milton “Milty” Eggerling was accused for the first time in Texas sex abuse and cover-up lawsuit. In it, the victim charges that Eggerling lured him with special treatment, gifts of money, and outings before sexually abusing him. The abuse, which took place in the 1970s, began when the boy was 11 years old.

The lawsuit also says that Austin, Texas, church officials—including the bishop—knew or should have known about the abuse and did little to nothing to stop it.

SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (—the nation’s largest support group for men and women sexually abused in religious and institutional settings—wants Sioux Falls Bishop Paul J. Swain to reach out to anyone who may have encountered Eggerling during his time in the state. 

The group fears that there may be more victims who are suffering in shame and silence. SNAP also wants to encourage witnesses and whistleblowers to come forward and share what they know.

Eggerling was a native of South Dakota, born and raised in the Sioux Fall Diocese. After his ordination into the priesthood, he worked at churches and schools in Lennox, Worthing, Howard, Marion, Aberdeen, and Sioux Falls, SD from the 1950s to the early 1970s.

“We’re concerned because our experience has shown us that Eggerling may have victims across the Sioux Falls Diocese,” said David Clohessy of SNAP. “Predators never have just one victim. Bishop Swain has a moral duty and the Christian obligation to reach out to anyone who may be hurting or who may have information about Eggerling in South Dakota.”

SNAP wants Swain to use all means at his disposal—the pulpit, church bulletins and websites, and diocesan publications—to reach out to Catholics who may have been abused.

In addition to his time in South Dakota and Texas, Eggerling also lived and worked in California, Massachusetts, and the country of Peru. He died in 2008.

Eggerlling's photo and work history are available at

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