Former FD Man Files against Church
Steinke Says Assistant Pastor Abused Him

By Bill Shea
The Messenger
March 21, 2008

A former Fort Dodge man has filed a lawsuit claiming that a Roman Catholic priest and another man sexually abused him nearly 30 years ago.

In the suit filed Thursday, Jeff Steinke, of Billings, Mont., accuses the Rev. John F. Kurzak and John Perdue of molesting him.

Kurzak was an assistant pastor at Corpus Christi Church, 402 N. Eighth St., from 1979 to 1981. He joined the Air Force in August 1981 to become a chaplain. He is still in the Air Force and is now a colonel.

Perdue is a former radio station news director who was ordained in 1985. He has not served as a priest since 1987, according to the Sioux City Diocese.

The lawsuit against the diocese and both men was filed in Woodbury County District Court. Steinke is seeking compensation and demanding a jury trial.

Contacted at his home, Steinke said his attorneys advised him not to comment on the case.

He is represented by Scott Rhinehart, of Sioux City, and Pat Hopkins, of Des Moines. A message left at Rhinehart's office Thursday evening wasn't returned by press time. Hopkins declined to comment.

In a written statement, Kristie Arlt, the diocese communications director, acknowledged that the diocese was notified of the lawsuit. She said the diocese had no further comment.

Steinke grew up in Fort Dodge and graduated from St. Edmond High School in 1982.

Kurzak, a Sioux City native, attended seminary in Rome and was ordained on June 29, 1975, by Pope Paul VI.

Perdue graduated from Emmetsburg Catholic High School and what is now called Iowa Lakes Community College. Prior to entering a seminary, he was a reporter for radio stations in Emmetsburg, Storm Lake and Fort Dodge.

Contact Bill Shea at (515) 573-2141 or


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