Diocese Settles Lawsuit Alleging Abuse by Priest

Des Moines Register [Iowa]
July 2, 2005

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Sioux City has settled the 22nd lawsuit alleging sexual abuse by a priest.

The case was dismissed this week in Woodbury County District Court after the woman who filed the complaint and diocese officials reached a confidential settlement.

A judge dismissed another lawsuit against the diocese last week, ruling that the accuser had not filed the suit before the statute of limitations expired. Three lawsuits involving victims referred to as John Doe remain pending against the diocese. No trial dates have been set.

The woman who filed the lawsuit in April claimed the Rev. George McFadden had sexual contact with her in the 1960s while he was the pastor of Sioux City's St. Francis of Assisi Church, which is now closed.

In addition to sexual abuse accusations against McFadden, the woman said the diocese knew of the priest's behavior and covered it up by transferring him to another parish.

Of the 26 lawsuits filed against the diocese, all but one named McFadden. The other suit named the Rev. Everett Apt, who died in 1985. McFadden is retired and living in another state. He has been suspended of any duties as a priest.

Like others who sued the diocese and McFadden, the woman said that as a result of the abuse, she has suffered from anxiety attacks, loss of self-esteem and loss of trust in others.