Florida attorney says more charges expected against former Dubuque priest accused of sexual abuse

KCRG-TV [Cedar Rapids IA]

April 26, 2024

An attorney representing a Florida man who filed a lawsuit says their investigation uncovered multiple victims against the former Dubuque priest.

Father Leo Riley is accused of sexual abuse while he was serving with the Archdiocese of Dubuque in the 1980′s.

Leo Riley appeared in court today in Florida on five counts of sexual abuse. He’s accused of assaulting the boys while he was an associate pastor at Resurrection Parish in Dubuque from 1984 to 1986. He’s in jail on a $100,000 bond and awaiting extradition back to Iowa.

In a lawsuit filed in 2020, a man claims Riley abused him as a boy at a Catholic School in Florida in the early 2000s.

Today, the attorney for that victim says Riley’s arrest is a relief but he expects more victims and more charges are coming. “My client is elated and also saddened by this news because he has been living with this for a very long time,” says Attorney Damian Mallard, “Our investigation was able to ascertain multiple victims in Iowa, and I understand they have been coordinating with the law enforcement in Iowa and in Florida and that culminated in the arrest yesterday for the charges in Iowa and we’re helping the law enforcement in Charlotte County for possible charges here in Florida.”

Mallard gave credit to one Iowa man in particular. In 2015, Jeff Buchheit came forward claiming Riley sexually abused him when he was an altar boy. The Catholic Church later ruled those accusations unfounded.

Father Leo Patrick Riley, 68, was charged on Wednesday with five counts of second degree...
Father Leo Patrick Riley, 68, was charged on Wednesday with five counts of second degree sexual abuse. Dubuque police said they coordinated with the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office in Florida to make the arrest. He’s being held in jail in Florida awaiting extradition.(KCRG)

“{Buchheit} was instrumental in helping our investigators locate multiple other victims and he is the one who really gets all the credit. He is the first victim to come forward and pursue this to the point of arrest,” says Mallard.

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

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