2020 lawsuit reveals more abuse allegations against former Dubuque priest

KCRG-TV [Cedar Rapids IA]

April 25, 2024

A day after a former Dubuque priest was arrested for an alleged 40-year-old sexual abuse case, we’re learning about more abuse allegations.

This time, the allegations come from Father Leo Riley’s time as a priest in Florida.

Father Riley was arrested in Florida on Wednesday after four men accused him of sexually abusing them in the 1980′s when they were altar boys at Resurrection Parish in Dubuque.

Riley moved to the Diocese of Venice, Florida in 2002 to be closer to his parents.

A lawsuit filed in July 2020 alleges Riley and Alan Klispie, a music teacher, verbally, physically and sexually abused a student at the St. Charles Borromeo Catholic School, a school owned and operated by the Diocese of Venice in Florida.

The lawsuit alleges Klispie started abusing the victim when he was a pre-kindergarten or kindergarten student at St. Charles in the mid 1990′s.

According to the lawsuit, sometime after Riley’s transfer in 2002, he met with the victim in the music room, where the victim reported Klispie’s abuse to Riley, and begged for Riley’s help.

However, the lawsuit goes on to say Riley not only failed to put a stop to the abuse, or to report it to the church leaders or to law enforcement, but he also began participating in the verbal, sexual and physical abuse.

The court document says the victim was believed to be under the age of 16 during all the instances of abuse. The alleged abuse continued until sometime after July 1, 2006.

The victim alleges both Riley and Klispie kept the victim from reporting the abuse through threats, including threats that they would rape and beat his younger sister if he told anyone about the abuse.

The victim is expected to hold a news conference in Florida at 8 a.m. central on Friday.