Timeline of Recent Events

In the last two years, lawsuits have revealed a portion of the hidden history of sexual abuse in the Davenport diocese. Some important diocesan documents have become part of the public record, and a judge has ordered the release of many more. Parishioners and survivors of abuse have joined in activism, and major constitutional questions have been raised. The diocese has begun to discuss bankruptcy as a means to cope with the flood of abuse litigation. Below we provide a timeline of significant events since late 2002, with links to the media coverage.

| 2002 | January 2003 | July 2003 | January 2004 | June 2004 | Article List | Davenport Diocesan Archive |
December 17 Files of "a questionable nature" found on diocesan computer used by Fr. Richard Poster {1}
January 19 Staffing of the diocesan Review Board is reported {1}
Late January Fr. Richard Poster cited with two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor {1}
March Fr. Richard Poster indicted by federal grand jury and pleads guilty {1} {2}
April 5 Email admission sent by Msgr. Drake Shafer to victim (revealed 3/19/04) {1}
May 20 John Doe suit v. Janssen and diocese is filed {1}
July John Doe suit v. Shafer, diocese, and St. Mary of the Assumption church is filed {1} {2}
July 16 Msgr. Drake Shafer asks for confidentiality, then publicly denies accusation {1}
September 16 James N. Wells suit v. Janssen and diocese is filed {1} {2}
September 25 John Doe II suit v. Janssen and Bass is filed {1} {2}
October 28 John Doe III suit v. Janssen, Bass, and Geerts is filed {1}
November 18 Donald J. Green suit v. Janssen and diocese is filed {1} {2}
November 21 Report that diocese filed motion to dismiss Wells case {1}
November 24 Steven Davis suit v. Bass and diocese is filed {1} {2}
November 26 Judge C.H. Pelton rules that diocese must give up records {1} {2} {3}
December 8 Default judgment granted against Fr. Theodore A. Geerts {1}
December 14 Burke family comes forward about abuse suffered by brothers in 1940s (item {1} is a fast download but a faint copy; item {2} is a slow download but a good copy) {1} {2}
December 22 Diocese appeals Judge C.H. Pelton's 11/26/04 ruling to Iowa Supreme Court {1}
December 30 John Doe II suit v. Janssen filed in San Diego {1} {2}
December 31 Judge David Schoenthaler consolidates abuse cases under Judge C.H. Pelton {1}
January 6 U.S. bishops' audit reports are issued without Davenport audit {1} {2} {3} {4}
By January 14 John Doe IV and V suits v. Janssen and Janssen & Bass are filed {1}
January 19 Letter to Bishop Franklin from the parish council of Sts.Philip and James church, Grand Mound {1} {2} {3} {4}
January 22 Fr. Richard Poster sentenced to a year in prison after plea agreement {1}
January 26 John Doe VI suit v. Janssen and diocese is filed {1} {2}
January 29 Diocesan priests' council issues apology {1} {2}
January 31 Bishop Franklin's response to S.S. Philip and James parish council letter {1} {2} {3}
February 4 John Doe VII suit v. Bass and diocese is filed {1} {2}
February 9-11 Iowa Supreme Court denies diocesan request for appeal of Pelton's record order {1} {2}
February 16-20 House Study Bill 601 to suspend statute of limitations for abuse is filed {1}
February 16-20 Bass attorney's motion for summary judgment against John Doe III {1}
February 16-24 Diocese gives plaintiffs' attorney Craig Levien files on Janssen, Bass, and Geerts {1} {2}
February 24 Ed Thomas testifies on Bass abuse and Janssen response {1} {2}
February 25 Bishop Franklin apologizes and issues report {1} {2} {3} {4}
March 16 Hearing sets June 3 as date for hearing on statute of limitations {1}
March 18 John and Michael Schal and Jerzy Willus suit v. Wiebler and diocese is filed {1} {2}
March 19 Email by Shafer to victim (see 4/5/02) is made public during hearing {1}
March 29 Annual meeting of priests' council hears three survivors {1}
March 31 Jack Doe suit v. Wiebler and diocese is filed {1}
By April 8 Judge C.H. Pelton rules that names should be reported {1}
By April 28 Diocese files motion arguing it has no legal duty to inform parishes about abusers {1}
By May 5 Judge Linn denies motion to dismiss John Doe v. Shafer {1} {2}
May 10 John G. Schildgen suit v. Janssen and diocese is filed {1} {2}
May 14 John Doe III and James Wells file statements of disputed facts with diocesan documents {1} {2}
May 25 Diocese files counterclaim in San Diego suit {1} {2} {3} {4} {5} {6} {7}
June 3 Hearing on motion to compel includes Fr. Thomas Doyle's testimony {1} {2} {3}
June 3 Bishop Franklin explains his legal strategy {1}
June 7 Diocesan attorney Rand Wonio confirms that requests to defrock have not been sent {1} {2} {3}
June 14-18 Requests sent to defrock Janssen and Poster {1} {2}
June 21 Request sent to defrock Wiebler and Bass {1} {2}
June 22 Request sent to defrock Martinez {1}
July 15 Judge C.H. Pelton rules that Wells and John Doe III suits may go forward {1}
July 30 Judge C.H. Pelton hears arguments that the diocese must turn over documents, and that negligence claims should be dropped (links A and B are to court filings by the plaintiff and defendant) {A} {B} {1} {2}
August 18 Diocese suspends priest, later identified as Rev. Paul Deyo {1} {2} {3}


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