Former Evansville Diocese Priest Accused of Sexual Abuse
By Jon Webb
Evansville Courier & Press
February 15, 2019
An Indiana man has publicly accused a former Evansville Diocese priest of sexual abuse.
Testifying in front of the Indiana Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday, Christopher Compton, 42, said the Rev. Raymond Kuper sexually abused him multiple times when Compton was 9 years old.
He accused of Kuper of "borderline brainwashing" him.
Kuper died in 2012.
|Raymond Kuper (Photo11: Courier & Press archives)|
The Courier & Press doesn’t usually name accusers of sex crimes, but Compton has testified in a public meeting and has been named in other publications as well. Video of the hearing is available on the state website.
Compton and several others testified in favor of Senate Bill 219, which would give accusers more time to pursue civil cases in incidents that have long exceeded the statute of limitations.
Compton told legislators the reported abuse occurred when he was a student at Christ the King School. According to his obituary, Kuper was pastor at Christ the King from 1977 to 1987.
Evansville Diocese spokesman Tim Lilley said a call from the Courier & Press on Thursday was the first he had heard of the accusation against Kuper.
Individuals who wish to report abuse to the diocese, he said, are encouraged to call the victim assistance coordinator at 866-200-3004.
Both Compton and his mother, Kim, testified in front of the committee. They spoke of the difficulties Compton had as a child after the purported abuse.
Chris said he kept everything a secret until last August when he came forward to Kim and other members of his family. He decided to speak out to advocate for all victims of childhood sex abuse.
“This is about all the victims in our state,” he said. “Not just me.”
Kuper served in various roles at several churches throughout the diocese. In addition to Christ the King, he worked as a pastor at St. Agnes and Holy Rosary churches in Evansville, as well as at St. Bernard Church in Rockport. According to his obituary, all those parishes were affiliated with elementary schools.
He also served as superintendent of Rex Mundi High School.
From 1972-77, he was diocesan superintendent, which meant he oversaw every school in the diocese.
He retired in 2006.
The diocese has a scholarship named after him. The Raymond Kuper Service Award is given to two students who “exemplify the late Father Kuper’s commitment to youth and Catholic education.”
The committee voted to send SB 219 to a summer study session, meaning it will not pass this year.
The diocese has said it will release the name of every priest credibly accused of sexually abusing minors some time later this year.
Contact columnist Jon Webb at firstname.lastname@example.org