Bishop Accountability
  Priest Cited with Sexual Exploitation

By Megan Hawkins
Des Moines Register
February 12, 2003

A Davenport priest has been cited with two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, police confirmed Tuesday.

Richard Poster was cited with the serious misdemeanors in late January after computer files of "a questionable nature" were discovered Dec. 17 on a diocesan computer used by Poster.

First in Iowa

These are the first known allegations of an Iowa priest possessing child pornography since Catholic bishops adopted policies last year for handling sexual misconduct by clergy.

Catholic church leaders pledged in December to report all allegations involving children to law enforcement in their communities, even though the church leaders are compelled only to obey local civil law on reporting abuse.

After police developed the case, they turned it over to the Scott County Sheriff's Department, said Davenport police Chief Mike Bladel.

The Scott County attorney's office said Poster turned himself in, and a court date is set for late February, Bladel said.

Poster is director of liturgy for the Davenport diocese and associate publisher for the Catholic Messenger. He has been placed on administrative leave.

Diocese acknowledges

"We confirm that charges were brought against him, and we regret it," said Irene Prior Loftis, diocesan chancellor. "We're waiting for the court's decision before beginning our own process."

Poster, ordained in 1992, was parochial vicar at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Iowa City, All Saints Catholic Church in Keokuk and St. John Vianney Catholic Church in Bettendorf. He was pastor of Sacred Heart in Oxford Junction, St. James in Toronto and Sacred Heart in Lost Nation for more than four years.


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