Fr. Robert J. Vonnahmen

Ordained: 1956
Status: Settled

Died: 05/8/2016
Diocese: Diocese of Belleville IL

Founder and long-time director of Camp Ondessonk. Accused of abusing boys and girls, spanning most of his career. Per the 5/23/2023 IL Attorney General’s Report, Vonnahmen sexually abused as many as 23 children 1956-1973. Abuse involved “fondling and kissing to violent oral and anal sex.” In 1968 or 1969 fellow priests reported child sex abuse by Vonnahmen at Camp Ondessonk to the bishop, to no avail. Further reports in 1976 or 1977, no action. Investigated by the Diocese in 1985 – removed from the camp, kept in parish ministry. Removed from active ministry without privileges in 1993. Named in civil suits in 1993, 1994 and 1995. Laicization announced in 4/2007. In 10/2013 was in charge of San Damiano Shrine in southern IL and was running ads for the Shrine in the archdiocesan newspaper. Accused in new lawsuit 3/17/2014 of abuse of a child at camp in 1970 and 1971. Died 5/8/2016, at a Highland IL nursing home. On diocese’s list 12/19/2018. Subject of settlement(s), per Attorney Garabedian in 4/2022.

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