Woman Sues Priest for Alleged Abuse, Also Sues Diocese

By Molly Montag
Sioux City Journal
October 27, 2010

SIOUX CITY - A Texas woman has filed a civil suit claiming a Siouxland monsignor sexually abused her while she was a child living in Sioux City.

According to court documents filed Monday, Nancy Prince alleges Monsignor Nicholas Ruba sexually abused her from 1968 to 1976 while he was a pastor at St. Michael's Church in Sioux City. The lawsuit, which demands a jury trial, accuses the Catholic Diocese of Sioux City of ignoring allegations of abuse and not taking steps to ensure the safety of the alleged victim and other children.

Her complaint accuses Ruba of sexual abuse, the Diocese of Sioux City of negligence and failure to warn of the alleged danger and both parties of intentional infliction of emotional distress.

The Diocese of Sioux City issued a statement Tuesday, saying it investigated Prince's allegations when she first notified them in 2006. The statement said Ruba, now retired, denied the allegations. It said Prince refused to speak with anyone from or representing the diocese in 2006 about her allegations or provide them with a written statement.

"Ultimately, in the fall of 2006, the Diocese of Sioux City was apprised that she did not wish to make a formal complaint against Monsignor Ruba or the Diocese of Sioux City," the statement said.

When contacted by the Journal at his home in Remsen, Iowa, Ruba said he wasn't aware of a lawsuit and had no comment. A phone number could not be located for Prince, who is now in her 50s.

According to Prince's suit, the alleged abuse took place while she was 14- 21 years old and working at the church or its rectory.

The suit claims Prince told her parents about the alleged abuse, but they didn't believe her. It also claims officials with the Diocese of Sioux City knew, or should have known, what was going on and failed to take action to protect Prince and other children.

Attorney R. Scott Rhinehart, who represents Prince, said he wasn't aware if the diocese's allegations about Prince contacting it in 2006 are true, but said he suspected his client contacted diocesan officials because she was concerned for children's safety. He said Prince would not be speaking to the media at this time.

"I think when she became the focal point it was more pressure than she could take, so she backed away from the pressure but she has come to grips with the abuse and needs to resolve it in her mind and wants closure and this is the only way she's going to get it because the diocese won't provide closure," Rhinehart said.


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