Diocese reinstates accused priest

Jefferson City News-Tribune
December 7, 2006

After an eight-month investigation of allegations that he sexually abused a minor more than 20 years ago, the Diocese of Jefferson City this week reinstated the Rev. Louis Dorn as pastor of two northeast Missouri Catholic churches. Bishop John Gaydos said in a news release he reinstated Dorn "with complete confidence in the work of the Diocesan Review Board."

That board found the allegations against Dorn -- made by one individual about one incident -- to be unsubstantiated. The news release noted the allegation was the only accusation of sexual abuse by a minor ever made against Dorn, during his 34-year career as a Jefferson City Diocese priest. "The time certainly gave an opportunity for other possible victims to step forward," said Ron Vessell, the Diocese's interim chancellor and review administrator. "We heard from no one."

The release noted Dorn's accuser "was encouraged to report the incident to local law enforcement."

There were no inquiries from civil authorities, the Diocese said in the news release, although it acknowledged that "not every victim (makes a report) because of personal desires for confidentiality."

Gaydos noted Dorn had been placed on administrative leave March 29 after the allegation could not be disproved immediately, as required by the Diocesan Policy on the Abuse of Children. He resumes work Friday. "During the past months, I have heard dozens of Father Dorn's parishioners asking that he be returned to the parish," Gaydos said. "I am certain that he will be greeted with open arms."


















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