Sioux City Diocese cover up demonstrates need for state-wide investigation

For immediate release, November 7, 2018

For nearly 30 years, Sioux City bishops, including the current one, hid the fact that Father Jerome Coyle was an admitted pedophile. Yesterday, the Diocese asked for survivors to come forward. 

SNAP has begged Church officials for decades to seek out other victims of know abusers. After putting innocent children at risk for decades, it seems to us that the Sioux City Diocese is only now asking people to come forward because parishioners and the public are appalled at what was concealed for so long. 

Make no mistake, victims and witnesses should come forward. However, they should not report to the very Church officials who hid an abuser for all those years, as the Sioux City Diocese suggested. Reports of sexual abuse need to be made to the police or to child protection agencies, not the Church. 

We note that there is a December 6th meeting scheduled between the Sioux City Diocese and the Iowa Attorney General. We feel strongly that this must be followed by a state-wide investigation that has subpoena powers, and that also offers survivors an opportunity to share their truths. Nineteen other states have instituted such a probe.

We hope that in the light of the egregious cover up in Sioux City that every Iowan who has not already done so will write to their Attorney General and request just such a state-wide investigation. 

Too many children have already suffered.

(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is

CONTACT: Tim Lennon, President, 415-312-5820, [email protected], (survivor of rape and sexual abuse by Sioux City priest); Zach Hiner, Executive Director, 517-974-9009, [email protected]

SNAP Network is a GuideStar Gold Participant