Ex-Priest Accused of Sex Abuse in Third Lawsuit

By Kevin Murphy
Kansas City Star
October 21, 2004

Retired Kansas City priest Francis E. McGlynn was accused in a third lawsuit Wednesday of sexually abusing a minor in the early 1970s.

A woman identifying herself only as Jane I.K. Doe contends that McGlynn sexually assaulted her between September 1972 and May 1973 while her family attended St. Mary's Church in Independence.

A year ago, Teresa White and Frank Scheuring also sued McGlynn, 77, for sexual abuse. Those cases are still pending.

Similar to the previous lawsuits, the Wednesday action also names as defendants the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Bishop Raymond Boland and Vicar General Patrick Rush.

McGlynn, through attorney James Wyrsch, denied the charges Wednesday, as he did the allegations by White and Scheuring. McGlynn, who retired in 1992, served parishes in Kansas City, St. Joseph, Independence and elsewhere for 38 years.

The lawsuit says the abuse began when the plaintiff was 15 years old. It says McGlynn touched the girl sexually in the church and rectory and forced her to do the same to him.

"We just didn't do what they say we did," Wyrsch said. "We emphatically deny that he inappropriately touched her or she inappropriately touched him."

The diocese had not received the lawsuit and declined to comment. The diocese said, however, that it reviewed an allegation of sexual misconduct involving McGlynn in April 2002 and told him he could no longer present himself as a priest.

The woman who filed suit Wednesday is now 48 and mentally ill, her mother said at a press conference. The mother, identified in the lawsuit as Jane I.B. Doe, is co-plaintiff in the lawsuit. The Star is withholding the mother's name to protect the daughter's identity.

The lawsuit said McGlynn's alleged abuses set the daughter on a course of emotional illness and despair.

"It has destroyed her life and her family's life," the mother said tearfully. The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages.

Wyrsch filed a motion to prohibit lawyers and plaintiffs in the White and Scheuring lawsuits from commenting on the case out of respect for McGlynn's privacy. A judge dismissed that motion, but another motion was filed three weeks ago.

In a letter to Boland on Wednesday, the national director of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests requested that Boland stop McGlynn from filing motions to silence victims who he said have shown "an immense amount of courage."

"By allowing the secrecy to continue, you once again put the needs of an accused priest before the needs of his victims and of kids at risk today," David Clohessy wrote.

Wyrsch noted that McGlynn filed the motions privately and that the diocese has not joined in those motions. Wyrsch said press conferences and public comments that go beyond the lawsuits jeopardize McGlynn's right to a fair trial.

"We have a right to a fair and impartial jury," Wyrsch said.

The diocese has set up committees to hear sexual abuse complaints and says it wants victims to come forward.

"As a faith community, the diocese offers our support and our resources for healing to victims and survivors of abuse," Rush said in a written statement.


Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.