Spokane Diocese Releases Name of Deceased Priest Accused of Abuse

Seattle Post-Intelligencer [Spokane WA]
September 23, 2003

SPOKANE, Wash. -- The Roman Catholic Diocese of Spokane has released the name of another priest accused of sexual abuse decades ago.

Bishop William Skylstad says there is credible evidence the Rev. Joseph Pineau was involved in an incident of sexual misconduct 36 years ago.

A review board made the recommendation to publish the name after an investigation.

Pineau was a priest in the Spokane Diocese from 1932 until his retirement in 1968. He died in 1982 at the age of 83.

The diocese has made public the names of seven living priests accused of sexual misconduct, but Skylstad had withheld the names of six deceased priests, saying their release would serve no purpose.

Skylstad said Monday the Diocesan Review Board believes others might come forward upon hearing the name of the accused priest. Decisions to disclose the names of priests accused of abuse are made on a case-by-case basis, the bishop said.

The alleged incident was recently reported to the diocese, Skylstad said. It allegedly occurred 36 years ago and involved an adolescent in a counseling situation, he said.

Pineau's assignments included assistant pastor at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Lourdes, as secretary to the late Bishop Charles White, and at St. Francis Xavier Parish in Spokane.

Molly Harding, co-founder of Spokane's Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests, praised the diocese for releasing Pineau's name.

"I see that as a positive step for the diocese and the victims as well," Harding said. "In the future we hope to see the continued release of names of those who are deceased as well as living."

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