Defrocked Priest Began Career in Idaho

NBC Newschannel 6 [Idaho]
April 10, 2006

One of the few catholic priests to have ever been defrocked because of sexual abuse began his career as a father right here in southeast Idaho.

Nightside reporter Ty Perry has more.

Father John Cornelius has been accused of sexually abusing over 20 young men. And in the early 70's, Cornelius was part of the seminarian right here in Idaho Falls.

With more than 20 different charges of sexual abuse John Cornelius is facing, at least one comes from Idaho Falls.

Tim McKenna, Sexual Abuse Victim: "I was an actual victim in the case against John Cornelius."

Today, McKenna gave a deposition, hoping to further the case against Cornelius.

"The depositions today are on a case where three other men have been repeatedly molested and raped by John Cornelius, who was a Catholic priest that was ordained here in Idaho Falls."

Cornelius spent several years here in the 70's, and McKenna feels there are more people in this area that have yet to come forward.

"There's been people everywhere John Cornelius has gone, so it stands to reason there are people in Idaho Falls that have not come forward. There's many victims that have come forward in Idaho, only to find that Idaho is very unfavorable to them."

Now, as the local president of the SNAP organization: Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, McKenna is asking anybody who has been a victim to come forward.

"If anybody does know of, or is a victim themselves, I ask that you come forward to the SNAP organization."

The website for the SNAP organization is There you can find answers to questions, as well as a phone number to call for any more information.


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