Bishop Accountability
  Accused Catholic Priest Taught at Regina
Diocese releases name; no criminal charges have been filed

By Gigi Wood
Iowa City Press-Citizen
August 29, 2004

A priest who taught at Regina High School four years ago and served at area parishes is under investigation by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Davenport for allegedly committing sex abuse in 1998 against a minor in Johnson County.

No criminal charges have been filed against the Rev. Paul Deyo, who lived in Iowa City from 1991 to 2000. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Davenport released his name Saturday in a press release by Deacon David Montgomery, a spokesman for the diocese.

Diocese officials did not return a phone message Saturday night for comment.

• The Rev. Paul Deyo, who served as a Catholic priest in the area four years ago, has been accused of sex abuse of a minor. Anyone with concerns is asked to call Tom Crowley, victim assistance coordinator for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Davenport. Crowley can be reached at 563-349-5002, by e-mail at

The statute of limitations has not yet expired on the alleged incident, and Johnson County Attorney J. Patrick White said last week that his office was continuing an informal information-gathering process regarding the alleged incident. White could not be reached Saturday night by telephone for additional comment.

Should White decide to proceed, it would be the first prosecution of a priest in Johnson County since 1989.

Catholic priests also announced Deyo's name from pulpits across Iowa City during Saturday night Masses and plan to do so again today. Priests were instructed to announce:

"Out of concern for victims of abuse, Bishop Franklin has asked me to make the following announcement ... Father Paul Deyo is the subject of an investigation of alleged sexual misconduct of a minor. ..."

Cards were available at Saturday Masses and will be made available again today listing contact information for the diocese's victim assistance coordinator.

Officials with Regina Catholic schools are awaiting word from the Davenport diocese on how to instruct students and parents on the matter, school board member John Gilroy said.

"We're waiting for more information from the diocese," he said.

Regina High School Principal Ray Pechous could not be reached for comment Saturday night.

Deyo served at St. Patrick's from 1991 to 1992, St. Peter in Cosgrove and St. Mary in Oxford from 1996 to 1997, and at St. Wenceslaus from 1998 to 2000. He taught at Regina High School from 1991 to 2000.

Deyo, who was ordained in 1976, served most recently as principal of Bishop Heelan High School in Sioux City from 2000 to 2003. He also had spent 1984 to 1991 at Assumption High School in Davenport, was in Rome from 1978 to 1984, and was an associate pastor at St. Mary in Clinton from 1976 to 1978.

He has been restricted from active duty since last year and currently is caring for his father in Keokuk. A telephone number listed for Paul Deyo in Keokuk was disconnected Saturday.

The diocese's Review Board ordered the investigation after learning of the allegation in July of 2003. The incident was first reported to Assistant Johnson County attorney Anne Lahey, though the man who alleged the abuse said he did not want criminal charges filed.

According to St. Wenceslaus' Web site, Deyo "loved animals and would have a blessing of the animals - even stuffed ones on St. Francis' feast day. He also started the Parish Picnic with a baseball battle of the Padres and the Kings - funny how the score was always a draw. He also initiated the picture directory and the spirited contest for the Jubilee 2000 St. Wenceslaus logo."

Reach Gigi Wood at 339-7360 or at gwood@press-citizen.


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