Former Priest Faces Another Lawsuit

By Christian Richardson
Sioux City Journal
January 14, 2006

A one-time altar boy is suing former Sioux City Catholic priest George McFadden for sexual abuse, according to court documents filed Friday.

Steven Bean of South Carolina served as an altar boy at the Immaculate Conception Church and attended the Immaculate Conception School between first and seventh grade while McFadden was assigned there as an assistant pastor.

The petition for jury trial states that in 1959 or after and while Bean was under 14 years of age McFadden engaged in sex acts with him.

Bean's attorneys R. Scott Rhinehart of Sioux City and Patrick J. Hopkins of West Des Moines, Iowa, state in the paperwork filed in Woodbury County court that the suit is filed in part because McFadden has never formally apologized to his victims.

McFadden became a Sioux City diocese priest in 1952. In the past few years approximately 25 sexual abuse lawsuits have been filed against him. Through July 2005 the Diocese of Sioux City has settled 22 lawsuits concerning McFadden.

He is retired and currently living in Ft. Wayne, Ind., Rhinehart told The Associated Press.

Bean's attorneys are seeking awards for exemplary damages from the past, present and future as well as compensation for his attorneys' fees.

The suit states that McFadden committed at least one assault on Bean by having inappropriate and offensive contact by performing a sex act on Bean against his will and while he was still a minor. It also alleges McFadden coerced Bean into engaging in sex acts by violating a position of trust and confidence.

The document also names the Diocese of Sioux City and states that it conspired with McFadden to suppress publicity regarding his alleged serial abuse of children in the parishes. The suit calls the diocese a co-conspirator with McFadden.

Bean has emotional suffering that has affected his personal life, employment, family relationships and emotional health, his attorneys claim.

He suffers from depression, anxiety attacks, difficulty sleeping, nightmares, loss of self-esteem, loss of trust and withdrawal from people.

McFadden had been suspended from his priestly activities and in December was prohibited by the Vatican from presenting himself as a priest.


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