Davenport Diocese Investigates Priest

September 2, 2007

Davenport - The Diocese of Davenport has placed a priest on administrative leave after four people complained he sexually abused them 30 years ago.

The Rev. Gerald Stouvenel was placed on administrative leave effective July 27, the diocese said in a statement released on Sunday. Stouvenel will remain on leave until an investigation is complete, according to the diocese.

According to the diocese, four people have made claims in the bankruptcy case filed by the diocese claiming that Stouvenel sexually abused them, as minors, over 30 years ago. Stouvenel was ordained on August 12, 1972.

Last week, a bankruptcy judge the diocese more time to file its bankruptcy reorganization plan, approving the diocese's request to extend the deadline
to Oct. 1.

It must be approved by Nov. 30, although the original deadline was Aug. 15.

The request to extend the deadline was submitted by the diocese and the creditors committee, which includes alleged victims of abuse by priests.

The diocese filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in October 2006 in the face of mounting clergy abuse lawsuits. A total of 156 claims from alleged abuse victims have been filed in the case, according to court records.

The reorganization plan will detail how the diocese will emerge from bankruptcy and how much it will pay its creditors, many of whom are abuse victims.


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