Green Bay Diocese Defends Itself in Las Vegas Abuse Case
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
October 11, 2012
A trial involving the Diocese of Green Bay gets under way Thursday in Las Vegas, where one of its former priests, John Patrick Feeney, was accused of molesting a boy in the 1980s -- a development that could affect ongoing settlement talks in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee bankruptcy.
The Green Bay diocese is accused of declaring Feeney fit for ministry in Las Vegas despite knowing about his long history of sexual abuse allegations.
In May, an Outagamie County jury ordered the diocese to pay $700,000 to two Wisconsin brothers, Todd and Troy Merryfield, whom Feeney molested in the 1970s. But the judge overturned that decision, citing juror bias, and the case is now on appeal.
Feeney was convicted in Wisconsin in 2004 and sentenced to 15 years in prison but was released in 2011. He was defrocked in 2005.
The start of the trial could affect ongoing settlement talks in Milwaukee where the lead counsel for the Las Vegas victim, attorney Jeffrey Anderson, represents the majority of victims in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee bankruptcy.