Wisconsin Judge Orders Restitution in Rare Criminal Charges That Were Filed More Than 35 Years after Sexual Assault


December 17, 2008

Iowa molester; raised in Waterloo, IA; resided in Fairfield, IA before plea bargain

Molester was a former seminarian and former Dubuque County man who went on to work in counseling in Mason City

Self help group hopes others will come forward to heal

A self-help group, SNAP (Survivors' Network of those Abused by Priests) has learned that a Wisconsin judge has ordered convicted child molester Dale J. Soppe, age 72 of Fairfield, IA to pay restitution to victim Richard Hinde of Barron County who he abused more than 35 years ago.

The Barron County, Wisconsin District Attorney had filed felony 'indecent behavior with a child' charges in early May 2006 against Soppe (Case # 2004 BA 001499).

Criminal charges have been brought because Soppe left Wisconsin, which effectively tolled or 'stopped the clock' on the criminal statutes of limitations.

In July, 2008, Soppe pled guilty to one count of fourth-degree sexual assault and had the other charge dismissed. He was sentenced to two years of probation, which includes 60 days in jail, and fined $1,000.

The restitution order signed on November 4th in the amount of $14,500.00 (court order attached) related to expenses Hinde has encountered over the years for counseling.

In a prepared statement, Richard Hinde said:

"In January, 2004 I decided to report Dale Soppe's sexual abuse. Thirty-plus years of silence on my part had provided me no healing from the affects of being abused or had it helped protect anyone else from being sexually abused. It's been a very painful struggle to follow through the legal process for myself, my wife, and our children who have been 100% supportive throughout the ordeal.

Regardless of the outcome of this case it doesn't erase the pain I still feel. I'm sure some people don't understand why after all this time I realized a moral obligation to tell the truth about being sexually abuse."

Richard J. Hinde
1248 8½ Ave
Hillsdale, WI 54733
(715) 837-1676

Prior to the sexual assault, Soppe was Hinde's 7th grade homeroom teacher and basketball coach in the Western Dubuque School District in Epworth, IA. Victim has reported that Soppe molested him in the classroom numerous times and on "basketball scouting trips" to Waterloo. The Wisconsin charge stems from Soppe sexually assaulting victim after the victim's family moved to Wisconsin.

Soppe also taught at Dyersville Beckman (then know as Dyersville Xavier), a Catholic high school in Dyersville; and is believed to have been a seminarian at the now-closed St. Bernard's Seminary in Dubuque. (In a book Soppe wrote called Change Your Concepts, Change Your World (Vantage Press; 1979) he wrote: "Dale Soppe was born in Waterloo, Iowa in 1935. After graduation from Our Lady of Victory High School (he was president of the Senior Class) in Waterloo in 1953, he attended Loras College there, taking his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1957. He also studied for the priesthood for four and a half years. After a twelve-year hiatus, during which he taught school and wrote a weekly sports column for the Dyersville (Iowa) Commercial, Mr. Soppe resumed his own education; and is presently engaged in working on a degree in theology at Aquinas Institute in Dubuque)."

Iowa Survivors' Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) Director, Steve Theisen of Hudson said, "Richard has shown great strength pursuing justice despite the pain. His strength will encourage other victims to come forward in efforts to protect children."


Barron County, Wisconsin District Attorney can be reached at: (715) 537-6220 and Barron County Sheriff's Detective Mary Dexter can be reached at 715-537-5814; extension 6736.

Theisen stressed that victim-survivors can contact SNAP, a confidential, independent, support group with over 55 chapters nationwide at 1-877 SNAP HEALS. SNAP's web site is

For more information:
Steve Theisen of Hudson, Iowa SNAP Director, 319 231 1663
Peter Isely of Milwaukee, Wisconsin SNAP Director, 414-429-7259
David Clohessy of St. Louis, MO- SNAP National Director 314 566 9790 cell, 314 645 5915
Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, MO - SNAP Outreach Director 314 862 7688


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