S.D. Man Alleges Abuse at Iowa Church in 1960s

By Jill Callison
Argus Leader (Sioux Falls, SD)
August 21, 2004

A Yankton man has sued the Catholic Diocese of Sioux City, Iowa, alleging he was sexually abused by a northwest Iowa priest in the early 1960s.

The lawsuit is the 20th filed against the Sioux City Diocese but the first against the Rev. Everett Apt, who died in 1985.

William Fisher states in the lawsuit that Apt abused him while he served as an altar boy in the Alvord, Iowa, Catholic church.

At the time, Fisher lived in Sioux Falls, but his family traveled to Alvord to attend Mass. After asking Fisher to serve as an altar boy fill-in, Apt would travel to Sioux Falls, pick up Fisher and take him to Alvord for the weekend, according to the lawsuit.

Fisher is suing the diocese for negligent supervision and conspiracy. As a result of the alleged sexual abuse, Fisher said, he suffers mental anguish, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life.

As far back as the early 1950s, the Sioux City Diocese knew Apt was sexually abusing children but continued to assign him to different parishes, the lawsuit claims. Whenever the diocese learned that Apt's ongoing sexual abuse might become public, the diocese transferred him, the suit states.

A press release from the Catholic Diocese of Sioux City said it first learned of the allegations against the priest, whom it identified as the Rev. E. Everette Apt, in May and has tried to work with Fisher's lawyer since then.

The lawsuit says Fisher attended a Catholic funeral in Larchwood, Iowa, on July 27. A Catholic priest approached him and told Fisher he was "no longer welcome on church property as he was a complaining victim of Catholic sexual abuse." That demand inflicted renewed pain and humiliation, the lawsuit says.

Lawyer R. Scott Rhinehart of Sioux City, who is representing Fisher, would not say whether the Larchwood incident prompted Fisher to file the lawsuit.

"I think it was just one of many factors," Rhinehart said. "He just felt it was time to confront this issue as a victim."

Jim Wharton, director of communications for the Sioux City Diocese, said his office has been trying to look into the Larchwood incident. There was no funeral in Larchwood on July 27, he said.

"We have not been able to find someone who made that statement," Wharton said.

Rhinehart said his office has filed the other 19 lawsuits against the diocese, all of which named the Rev. George McFadden as the abuser in Sioux City and other northwest Iowa parishes. Four of the lawsuits have been settled, Rhinehart said.

Reach Jill Callison at 331-2307 to get help

The Catholic Diocese of Sioux City said in a press release that it will continue to work with anyone who might have been a victim of abuse by clergy. The victim assistance coordinator may be reached at 712-279-5610 or toll-free at 866-435-4397.

People who have been victims of abuse by someone in the Catholic Church also may contact the Catholic Diocese of Sioux Falls. Call Sister Mary Carole Curran, victim response coordinator, at 988-3775, or Bishop Robert Carlson, Chancellor Jerry Klein or Vice Chancellor Nancy Werner at 334-9861.


Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.
guide of business management sytem guide of job opinions guide of capital goods guide of make fast money guide of Debt restructuring guide of home business guide of income money guide of hospital products guide of international market guide of repair roof before winter guide of website income guide of secure your business guide of face makeup tools guide of jewellery arts guide of tv shows guide of best places on earth guide of job plans guide of cheap cars guide of creating products guide of women tools guide of eat less guide of car insurance process guide of sport stuff guide of garden home guide of cheap insurances guide of electronic tech guide of healthy feeding guide of what is next in fashion guide of improve company guide of tactical insurance guide of make money at home guide of development in business guide of dept loan guide of cooking secrets guide of correct companies guide of jobs with more income guide of reviews o general products guide of improving technology guide of ideal job guide of business sectors guide of dept problem guide of unlimited business guide of suitable insurance company guide of money cars guide of how to market guide of heatlhy diet tips guide of decoration tipse guide of security problems