Fred Lutz’s sexual abuse made worse by diocese withholding information


March 22, 2020

By Robert Ballay

Letter to the Editor

Thank you and Harrison Keegan for the articles about the sexual abuse perpetrated by Fred Lutz, who is an ordained Catholic priest. Lutz sexually abused me in 1972 when I was 17 years old. There are two more reports of sexual abuse by Lutz of adolescent boys, one in the 1990s and one in 2000. Lutz is being prosecuted for the 2000 report now. The 2000 case was reported in 2002 to the diocese, and I reported my 1972 case in 2006. I regret that I did not report it sooner. We know that the diocese had two sexual abuse reports on Lutz in 2002 and 2006. We don’t know when the 1990s report was made because the diocese has never made that report public. However, you would think if there were two separate reports of sexual abuse by Lutz, the diocese, the bishop would begin to doubt Lutz’s denials.

The diocese did not make any of Lutz’s sexual abuse reports public until 2018, when they finally revealed that I had reported my 1972 abuse in 2006. Why they decided to finally report it then is unknown, since no new knowledge had come to light as far as I know. A friend of mine said they finally reported it because the Missouri attorney general announced the clergy sexual abuse investigation of all Missouri dioceses about a month earlier. The diocese has still not made public either of the 1990s or the 2000 reports of sexual abuse by Lutz.

The diocese has not been honest with me or the public about the sexual abuse by its priests. As recently as 2018 and 2019, I was told that there were no other abuse reports made on Lutz. The diocese said they would cooperate with the investigation, but the Stoddard County prosecuting attorney indicated that in no way did the diocese cooperate.

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