WI--Two more Milwaukee predator priests are exposed
For immediate release: Thursday, Nov. 19, 2015
Two Milwaukee predators are exposed
Both admitted molesting kids in other states
Neither have ever been “outed” in Wisconsin before
One, an ex-seminarian, now faces pending criminal charges
SNAP: “Catholic officials should spread the word about them”
Two admitted child molesting Catholic clerics who spent time in Milwaukee are being publicly exposed as predators by a victims’ group. It’s urging local Catholic officials to help prosecutors convict one of them.
Leaders of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, are warning the public about Kevin Sloniker, an ex-seminarian who was arrested weeks ago in Menomonie for sexually abusing children and Fr. Eric Middlecamp who Catholic officials acknowledge molested kids and worked in Milwaukee.
Sloniker told police he sexually assaulted nine boys in recent years and Fr. Middlecamp told his church supervisors he’d committed child sex crimes.
In 2005, Sloniker was kicked out of a Winona MN seminary after reportedly trying to circumcise himself. Still, he later became a Catholic youth counselor in Idaho.
From 1995 to 2011, Fr. Middlecamp worked at the Salvatorian headquarters at 1735 Hi-Mount Blvd. and lived with other clerics at a place called “Jordan House” (3800 N. 92nd St., 414-463-7570).
In the 1990s, he was accused of sexually abusing boys and girls in the late 1950s through 1970s. When he admitted his crimes, his Catholic supervisors reportedly moved him to Milwaukee.
According to the Official Catholic Directory, Fr. Middlecamp spent much of his career in Wisconsin (including nearly 20 years, in several stints, New Holstein WI in St Nazianz WI at a seminary). He also worked in Washington DC, Sioux City IA, Oakland CA and Phoenix AZ.
Fr. Middlecamp’s admissions came in a letter earlier this month that is posted at BishopAccountability.org - http://www.bishopaccountability.org/assign/assign/Middlecamp_Eric_SDS.htm
“We urge Milwaukee Catholic officials to publicize these abusers’ admissions and aggressively reach out to anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered their crimes in Wisconsin,” said Peter Isely, Midwest Director of SNAP. “For the safety of kids, and to help law enforcement, we call on Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listecki to use church websites, parish bulletins, pulpit announcements and personal appeals to reach out to others who may have seen, suspected or suffered crimes by Sloniker or Fr. Middlecamp.”
“All too often, when church staff and volunteers are arrested on child sex charges, bishops do nothing and thus essentially help criminals and endanger children,” said David Clohessy, SNAP’s national director. “And all too often, secular officials, with the power and duty to safeguard society’s most vulnerable, pursue only church staff who commit abuse and ignore church staff who conceal abuse.”
“Church members and employees in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Idaho and Washington have a moral and civic duty to help law enforcement investigate and prosecute Sloniker,” said Isely. “They’ll be tempted, of course, to do nothing. But that’s wrong. And their inaction might help enable Sloniker to exploit legal technicalities and escape punishment and hurt more kids.”
“If church officials do nothing about Sloniker, their inaction might well encourage other clerics to ignore or conceal known or suspected child sex crimes by their colleagues,” said Clohessy. “So we hope that anyone who saw, suspected or suffered Sloniker’s crimes will speak up, call police, protect kids, expose wrongdoers, deter cover ups and start healing. We hope Archbishop Jerome Listecki will try hard to find and help other Sloniker victims in Wisconsin.”
Listecki will “almost certainly try to distance himself from these two predators,” said Isely. “But that’s irresponsible hair-splitting. What matters is that they hurt kids and one of them is being prosecuted right now, not which Catholic entity or official recruited or paid them.”
“An archbishop is responsible for the safety and well-being of his entire flock,” Clohessy emphasized. “Who cares if a child molesting cleric is a priest, seminarian, Jesuit or diocesan? Listecki should care only about finding and helping anyone who is suffering because of these men and finding witnesses who can help law enforcement pursue Sloniker.”
Middlecamp’s photo and work history is available here: http://www.bishopaccountability.org/assign/assign/Middlecamp_Eric_SDS.htm
Sloniker was at Immaculate Conception Church in Post Falls, Idaho. He’s part of an arch-conservative Catholic group called the Society of St. Pius X. He’s not the first man with that group to face abuse allegations: http://www.snapnetwork.org/exclusive_after_us_sex_abuse_scandals_an_accused_priest_rises_again_in_paraguay
Recently, Pope Francis gave the Society permission to start hearing confessions from Catholics, though it’s been a controversial organization whose top official once publicly denied the Holocaust.
The head of the Salvatorians is Fr. Joe Rodrigues (414-258-1735, [email protected]). Other church staff include Br. Sean Mclaughlin (301-370-2453,[email protected]) or Sr. Mary Lee Grady (414-759-9148, [email protected]). Archbishop Jerome Listecki is at 414-769-3300.
Fr. Middlecamp died in 2011.