Several More Settlements Made in Diocese Sexual Abuse Cases

By Nick Hytrek
Sioux City Journal
March 31, 2005

The number of pending clergy sexual abuse lawsuits filed against the Catholic Diocese of Sioux City is down to six after the recent settlement of several of the cases.

With 10 more settlements, 16 cases have been settled this month.

Of the recent settlements, nine alleged sexual abuse by the Rev. George McFadden. The other accused the late the Rev. Everett Apt.

All settlements included monetary payments to the alleged victims, but no total is being disclosed.

"Those victims that have completed settlement have taken the first step toward closure of the trauma inflicted upon them. Those victims who have settled have requested confidentiality in relation to the settlement details," said their attorney, Scott Rhinehart of Sioux City.

Mike and Dirk Jablonski, Kim Henshaw, Ron Verbeski, Kathleen Baker, Terri Huff, Delno J. Pinney III, Don Miller and Joseph Boyok all had alleged that McFadden had sexual contact with them while he was pastor of Sioux City's St. Francis of Assisi parish, which is now closed.

William Fisher had claimed Apt had sexually abused him while serving as pastor at Sacred Heart parish in Alvord.

All the alleged victims said in their suits that the diocese had known of McFadden and Apt's behavior and covered up their actions by continually transferring them to other parishes.

Apt died in 1985. McFadden is retired and living in another state. He has been suspended of his priestly duties.

A total of 26 sexual abuse lawsuits have been filed in Woodbury County District Court against the diocese, 25 of them naming McFadden.

Of the six remaining cases, three are scheduled for trial later this year.

"They appear to be headed toward trial," Rhinehart said.

The other three have no trial dates set.

"The diocese will continue its efforts to amicably settle all remaining cases," said Jim Wharton, diocese director of communications.


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