Ousted St. Wenceslaus priest faced sexual assault allegation, World-Herald investigation finds. It wasn't the firs

By Christopher Burbach
Omaha World Herald
October 27, 2018

Parishioners at one of Nebraska’s largest Catholic parishes are learning belatedly the details of why a priest was removed from ministry this summer: He allegedly sexually assaulted a young man by groping and kissing him.

The Omaha Archdiocese removed the Rev. Francis Nigli, 58, from his post at St. Wenceslaus in June after a 21-year-old man reported to Omaha police that Nigli sexually assaulted him on the campus of the west Omaha church by kissing him and fondling him over his clothing. No charges have been filed.

St. Wenceslaus parishioners weren’t told why Nigli was dismissed. They also weren’t told that he had been accused of a similar transgression — in 2013 — against an 18-year-old at a previous post in O’Neill, Nebraska, before he was assigned to St. Wenceslaus.

Nigli could not be reached for comment. His whereabouts is unknown.

The Omaha parish’s pastor now says that assigning Nigli to St. Wenceslaus was a mistake. The parish also has a church school.

“We’ll own the sin,” the Rev. Tom Bauwens said in an interview Tuesday, after being contacted by The World-Herald. The newspaper was investigating after it had been contacted by parents who had questions about Nigli’s behavior.


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