Fr. James R. Steel

Ordained: 1968
Status: Settled

Diocese: Archdiocese of Chicago IL

Steel left the priesthood in 5/92 and was laicized in 3/01. A man came forward in 2002 to allege abuse in 1982 when he was age 13 by Steel and Donald Ryniecki, a school principal at St. Joseph the Worker. In 11/06 the review board determined that there was reason to believe allegations credible. One claim was included in an 8/08 $12.7M settlement involving 11 priests and 16 plaintiffs. Personnel file released 1/14. Also believed to have abused the same boy in northern WI. No criminal charges were expected to be filed in WI as of 5/1/14 due to the statute of limitations.


Return to main database page. See abbreviations and posting policy. Send corrections.

Our Database of Publicly Accused does not state or imply that individuals facing allegations are guilty of a crime or liable for civil claims. The reports contained in the database are merely allegations. The U.S. legal system presumes that a person accused of or charged with a crime is innocent until proven guilty. Similarly, individuals who may be defendants in civil actions are presumed not to be liable for such claims unless a plaintiff proves otherwise. Admissions of guilt or liability are not typically a part of civil or private settlements. For more information, see our posting policy.