Davenport Diocese Names More Priests Accused of Abuse

By Gregg Hennigan
The Gazette
Novenber 4, 2008

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Davenport on Monday released the names of four more priests it says can be "credibly accused" of sexual abuse.

The list includes retired Sioux City Bishop Lawrence Soens. He has been accused by 31 males of abusing them when they were minors, with most of the allegations dating to when Soens was principal of Iowa City Regina in the 1950s and 1960s.

The diocese has submitted reports on Soens to the Vatican, which will determine whether he should continue as a member of the clergy. Diocese spokesman Deacon David Montgomery said he did not know when the Vatican will announce its decision.

The diocese on Monday also named Joseph Hines, Eugene Smith and Gerald Stouvenel as having credible claims against them. Hines, who is dead, served at St. Wenceslaus in Iowa City from 1945-1951.

Previously, the diocese had released the names of 24 of its clergy credibly accused of abuse. A diocese board is still reviewing claims against other priests.

The list, which is posted on the diocese Web site,, is one of the non-monetary provisions the diocese had to fulfill as part of its $37 million settlement to emerge from the bankruptcy protection it sought because of its clergy sex abuse scandal.

Also Monday, the diocese announced that monsignor Drake Shafer has been found not guilty of sexually abusing a minor by an independent three-judge panel of church lawyers and confirmed by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith at the Vatican. He has been restored to active ministry.

And the diocese review board found that allegations of sexual abuse made against the Rev. Martin Diamond, who is dead, are not credible.


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