Victims Seek Documents from Diocese in Bishop's Sex Abuse Case

March 9, 2006

DAVENPORT, Iowa -- Two men who have accused a former bishop of sex abuse have asked a judge to force the Davenport diocese to release names of all priests accused of sexual misconduct.

Both victims have filed lawsuits accusing former Sioux City Bishop Lawrence Soens of sexual abuse during in the 1960s, when Soens was principal at Regina High School in Iowa City.

The legal tussle for the diocese's list of 25 accused priests stems from more than a dozen lawsuits filed against the diocese and several of its priests in 2002. The two men are also asking the diocese to release the investigative reports and other documents.

District Judge C.H. Pelton had ordered that the documents be released after the lawsuit was filed. But the transfer never happened because the church agreed to settle 37 sex abuse claims for $9 million in November 2004.

The lawsuits against Soens were filed after the settlement.

Diocese attorney Rand Wanio said the church is willing to share the documents. The question facing Pelton is who should have access to them.

Pelton did not indicate when he would issue a ruling.


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