Seven Being Investigated

By Sam Skolnik
Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Downloaded April 25, 2003

Several of 13 priests being investigated -- the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Seattle will not say how many -- have been placed on administrative leave and could come back to active duty at a local parish if exonerated. The rest have retired.

Archdiocese officials acknowledge that seven priests whose names have been publicly revealed, mostly through the filing of lawsuits, are among those being investigated. They decline to name the other six.

The seven are:

- The Rev. Barry Ashwell, a Pierce County priest who is the subject of a lawsuit filed in Clark County accusing him of sexual abuse in the 1970s. He has been placed on administrative leave.

- The Rev. Dennis Champagne of Lakewood. Administrative leave.

- The Rev. John Cornelius of Seattle, removed from his ministry last year by Archbishop Alex Brunett after multiple accusations of abuse surfaced.

- The Rev. David Jaeger of Seattle, who has admitted to inappropriately touching eight to 10 minors in the late 1970s. Administrative leave.

- The Rev. James McGreal, who faces four lawsuits filed by 16 plaintiffs. Retired.

- The Rev. Gerald Moffat, accused in a lawsuit of sexually abusing an altar boy for about three years at Holy Family in Kirkland. Administrative leave.

- The Rev. Patrick O'Neill, accused in a 2002 lawsuit of abusing a girl for three years in the early 1960s at a Tacoma church. Retired.


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