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  Priest Resigns after Inquiry
Church Suspended Cleric in June over Claim That He Abused Woman 30 Years Ago

By Will Higgins
Indianapolis Star
February 11, 2003

A Catholic priest resigned Monday after a church investigation into charges of sexual misconduct.

The Rev. John B. Schoettelkotte, 69, was suspended in June, after local Catholic officials substantiated an allegation that he abused a woman 30 years ago, the Archdiocese of Indianapolis said in a statement Monday.

The statement said there had been several allegations that Schoettelkotte had engaged in sexual misconduct with "girls and women."

The statement did not say whether Schoettelkotte admitted to the allegations, and he could not be reached for comment. Local Catholic officials declined to disclose where he was.

Schoettelkotte's resignation came "in response to recommendations" from the Indianapolis archbishop, Daniel M. Buechlein, and from the Archdiocesan Review Board.

The review board, composed of one priest and five Catholic lay people, was appointed by Buechlein in August in response to a nationwide priest-sex scandal. In the past year, about 250 priests have resigned or been suspended, mostly because of claims of abuse of minors.

Locally, two other priests have been placed on indefinite administrative leave for alleged sexual misconduct, including Jack Okon and Micheal H. Kelley, who was stripped of his duties in January.

Kelley resigned in August as pastor of St. John the Baptist in Starlight. He admitted to past sexual misconduct with adults.

Okon, of Indianapolis, was placed on leave after being accused of fondling two teenage boys in the 1970s.

Schoettelkotte had been a priest for 42 years. He was ordained on May 3, 1960.

Since that time, he had worked at churches in communities throughout Indiana -- among them Greensburg, Greencastle, Greenwood, New Albany, Bloomington, Columbus and North Vernon. Most recently, he had been a pastor in Perry County.

 
 

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