Sexual Misconduct Allegation Still Looms over Evansville Diocese Priest
By Jon Webb
Evansville Courier & Press
May 23, 2019
In September, the Evansville Catholic diocese put the Rev. David Fleck on administrative leave.
He’d been accused of sexual misconduct. That’s about all we knew. And eight months later, not much has changed.
Diocese spokesman Tim Lilley confirmed this week that Fleck is still barred from public ministry.
In October, public records requests by the Vincennes Sun-Commercial, 14 News and others unearthed a letter the diocese wrote to prosecutors in Knox County – where the reported offenses allegedly took place. It provided a scant glimpse into the allegations.
According to the letter, the accuser, who is apparently not one of the alleged victims, claims Fleck “solicited” two male students at Vincennes Rivet High School in the 1980s, when Fleck worked as a teacher there. A third student was reportedly solicited in a separate incident.
Knox County prosecutor Dirk Carnahan didn’t return my call seeking comment on Tuesday. Nor did his office respond to another reporter’s calls back in January.
|David G. Fleck (Photo: Catholic Diocese of Evansville)|
Fleck denies the charges. He’s worked in the Evansville diocese for more than four decades, serving as a priest, teacher and vocations director.
On Feb. 22, the diocese finally released its long-promised list of priests leveled with credible accusations of sexual misconduct against minors. That same day, the diocese sent out a separate statement on Fleck, marking the first update on his case in months, and it didn’t say much.
“The diocese reported the allegations to civil authorities and notified the Diocesan Review Board,” it read in part.
Fleck’s isn’t the only current abuse allegation looming over the diocese.
Back in February, 42-year-old Christopher Compton stood before the Indiana Senate Judiciary Committee and publicly accused former Evansville priest Raymond Kuper of repeatedly abusing him when he was 9 years old.
He and his family reported the accusations to the diocese way back in August, but the allegations didn’t become public until he shared them with a state government committee.
Kuper, who died in 2012, worked in slews of parishes, even serving as diocese superintendent from 1972-1977: a position that allowed him to oversee every Catholic school in the area.
I asked Lilley if there was an update on the Kuper case nine months after the Compton family reported the alleged abuse to the diocese.
"The investigation is continuing," he said.