June 29, 2017
Angela Kennecke reports:
Sioux Falls, SD
Our Eye on KELOLAND Investigation has uncovered allegations of sexual harassment in a Sioux Falls parish against its priest.
The alleged incidents happened back in 2014. We’ve brought you the story from the victim’s point-of-view, who told us what happened and that her job was threatened for continuing to push the matter. We agreed to keep her identity hidden and change her name and voice.
“And when Matt (Althoff) said to me, that I will lose my job if I say another report and when Twila said, ‘This is not good for you. Maybe you should look for another job,’ it hurt me very badly because I went in there so they could help me. And it looks like they wanted to get rid of me,” Cindy said.
Months after she reported it and the diocese first tried to save the working relationship and establish professional boundaries between Cindy and Fr. Justin Wachs, Fr. Wachs resigned from the parish and went on medical leave.
But it’s what happened next that caused someone to threaten the diocese with going public with the matter, which they eventually did.
The Sioux Falls diocese told KELOLAND News that anonymous person who alerted KELOLAND Investigates to this incident is trying to hurt the church. The writer didn’t agree with Fr. Wachs’ “reassignment.” Fr. Wachs’ spoke to us only through his attorney who says his new assignment was in the works before he was accused of sexual harassment.
Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.