Former Local Priest Is Admitted Child Molester

October 8, 2008

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - When Melissa Limcaco's 17-year-old son Danny returned from a church retreat quiet and withdrawn, she thought it was a phase.

Limcaco said she later found out her son was molested by their church's priest, Father Harry Monroe. When she tried to file a complaint, the church told Limcaco they would handle it.

"He just told me it wasn't my place to question the authority of the archbishop, so hindsight is I went to the wrong authority," Melicca Limcaco said.

Danny Limcaco died in 1983. He took his own life at 19-years-old. Now, 25 years later, Monroe is still a free man even though he is an admitted child molester.

Though he never mentioned Danny Limcaco by name, in a 2007 deposition Monroe did admit to molesting at least five boys from the state of Indiana.

Despite this admission, Monroe still walks free and has never been charged with a crime in Indiana.

Advocates from the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, said Father Monroe has a history of this behavior. But, they said the Catholic Church protects its own.

"The diocese received numerous complaints about his behavior all the way through his career," SNAP director Barbara Dorris said. "And rather than remove him, they simply moved him to a new parish, giving him a fresh start and, of course, placing another whole group of children at risk."

The Catholic Church said the statute of limitations to prosecute Monroe in Indiana has run out. But because Monroe moved out of state in the 1980's, that statute was put on hold. Advocates are now trying to extradite Monroe back to Indiana for prosecution.

"How many victims does he have from 1984 to today? Who is he going after tomorrow?" Melissa Limcaco said.


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