Priest Pleads Guilty to Sexual Abuse

By Stewart Warren
Daily Southtown [Illinois]
April 26, 2007,dst_rogge_426.article

An elderly Catholic priest pleaded guilty today to sexually abusing two boys in the 1990s.

Will County Judge Richard Schoenstedt seems inclined to send Louis P. Rogge, 76, a member of the Carmelite order, to jail. When the portly, gray-haired priest stood in his courtroom, the judge implied the state recommended a plea deal that didn't include jail or prison time. Schoenstedt indicated that he didn't agree.

"I believe that there are reasons ... that I should and would impose a jail sentence," Schoenstedt said.

In September 2005, two men reported they had been inappropriately touched by Rogge, Will County Assistant State's Attorney Neil Adams said. The first incident happened during the summer of 1996 when one of the boys was doing a type of meditation with Rogge, Adams said. Rogge fondled the boy and encouraged him to masturbate, Adams said.

In the summer of 1999, the boy's younger brother was involved in a similar incident with Rogge, Adams said. When confronted, Rogge acknowledged the incidents.

"He expressed remorse for what happened and said how sorry he was for giving into his urges," Adams said.

In 1974, Rogge pleaded guilty to charges of child molestation in Athens, Ga. Two years later, he returned to the ministry. Rogge left the public ministery in 2002.

Outside the courtroom, Rogge chose not to comment.

His sentencing is scheduled for July 26.


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