Church Investigated 2002 Allegations against Former Bishop

Associated Press, carried in WHO
February 9, 2006

IOWA CITY, Iowa A retired priest from Sioux City is off the hook in an investigation by the Roman Catholic Church.

Retired Bishop Lawrence Soens has been accused of sexual abuse, but the Church has decided his actions weren't sexual, though it does admit they may have been inappropriate.

The allegations were made in April 2002 by a former student of Regina High School in Iowa City, where Soens, who retired in 1998, served as principal from 1958 to 1967.

Soens was accused of repeatedly twisting the nipples of his accuser and running his finger up and down the accuser's private parts.

Soens has been named in two sexual abuse lawsuits, each filed by former high school students, but has denied all accusations through his attorneys. He has also been named in seven other claims subject to mediation with the diocese. In October 2004, the diocese in Davenport paid 20 thousand dollars to settle a separate sex abuse claim naming Soens.


Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.