DIOCESE OF LAS VEGAS NV
“It is important to us that the faithful know that we are aware of the problems from the past and are actively taking steps to assure that children and young people are safe in our Dioceses and in Catholic programs and environments across the country,” said Bishop Phillip Straling, head of the Diocese of Reno. “This study is a way to assess the nature and scope of the problem in the past and to move forward in a positive direction.”The national study was conducted in cooperation with dioceses, eparchies and religious orders across the country and is anonymous in nature, meaning it will not include the names of victims or offenders, nor will it identify information by diocese. The material included in the national study consists of all reported incidents of sexual abuse of minors between 1950 and June, 2002. This time frame allows for a long term study of the problem prior to the adoption of the Charter for the Protection of children and Young People.
“The Bishops throughout the United States made a promise to the world when we adopted the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People that we would acknowledge mistakes from the past and accept responsibility for creating a safe environment for everyone in our ministries and other programs. The audit of all of the Dioceses and the release of this study, are just the beginning of the vigilant watch we have undertaken on behalf of the faithful,” said Bishop Joseph Pepe, head of the Diocese of Las Vegas.
During the time between January of 1950 and June of 1995, while the State of Nevada was served by one Diocese, five hundred twenty-one priests served in the state. All of the clergy records from that time were reviewed and information from those records was submitted to John Jay College of Criminal Justice for inclusion in the national study.
The following information was provided by the Dioceses of Nevada to the
John Jay College of Criminal Justice:
The Dioceses of Reno and Las Vegas have shared a cost of approximately $2.5 million dollars in settlements, therapy and legal fees connected to abuse cases dating from the time prior to 1995 when there was only one Diocese in Nevada.
The Diocese of Reno-Las Vegas was divided into two separate entities in July 1995: the Diocese of Reno consisting of twelve counties of northern Nevada with the remaining five southern counties constituting the Diocese of Las Vegas.
Between July, 1995 and June, 2002, there were an additional thirty-one priests who served in the Diocese of Reno. During the seven years covered by the study, there were no allegations of sexual abuse of a minor lodged against any priest at the time he was serving in the Diocese of Reno. The complaints of May, 2002 against Msgr. Robert Bowling claimed abuse in Kentucky nearly forty years ago, prior to his coming to Nevada.
One act of child abuse is one too many. The Bishops of the United States have taken decisive action to address this evil among the clergy and other church workers. On January 6, 2004, the Gavin Group issued a report detailing the level of compliance with the promises of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People among the dioceses of the country. It is clear from that report that the Bishops are taking this matter seriously and are keeping the promises they made to their people in Dallas in 2002.
The John Jay College of Criminal Justice report is the Bishops’ effort to get a clear picture of the nature and scope of this problem. The bishops, themselves, commissioned this report and have cooperated in providing the basic information about allegations, abusers, victims and costs, and the other detailed information contained in the study. There is no other study with which to compare this one. No other group or entity has undertaken such a task. It is the hope of the bishops that the results of this study will give them a clearer picture of what has taken place and may provide information for additional studies. It is also the hope that the results of this study may provide added insight into a problem that is recognized as societal.
“The bishops cannot change history but they can work to see that it is not repeated.” Bishop Straling has often voiced his sincere regret and his apologies to the victims of this evil. He has encouraged those who have been victimized to come forward and report the abuse. It is equally important at this time to do all that is humanly possible to prevent such behavior in the future. The Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, the Gavin Group Compliance Audit, the John Jay Study, Child Protection Programs and a number of other efforts undertaken by the bishops are directed toward the goal of addressing the needs of victims, understanding the causes of the problem and making every effort to prevent another occurrence of child abuse by a church worker.
For more information: www.usccb.org
The Catholic Church in Nevada has paid approximately two and one-half million dollars in costs connected with clergy sexual abuses cases filed since 1950.
The Diocese of Reno says that of the 521 priests who served in the state from 1950 to 1995, eight were accused of sexual abuse of a minor. Three of the priests were from the Reno diocese. The diocese of Reno-Las Vegas was divided into separate entities in 1995.
Since then there have been no allegations of sexual abuse of a minor lodged against any priest serving in the 12-county diocese of Reno. Its report was compiled for the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York.
A nationwide accounting of abuse claims and costs is expected to be reported later this month. The Reno diocese said the study included 13 victims. The information about the priests or their accusers was presented in an anonymous format.
Reno-Las Vegas Dioceses Pay $2.5 Million in Abuse Cases
The Catholic Church in Nevada has paid approximately $2.5 million in costs connected with clergy sexual abuse cases filed since 1950, the Dioceses of Reno and Las Vegas said.
"Of the 521 priests who served in the state of Nevada from 1950 to 1995, eight were accused of sexual abuse of a minor. Three of the priests were from this diocese," the dioceses said in a joint statement. "The remaining five priests were members of other dioceses or members of religious communities. None of those identified are involved in active ministry anywhere in the country at this time."
The diocese of Reno-Las Vegas was divided into separate entities in 1995. Since then there have been no allegations of sexual abuse of a minor lodged against any priest serving in the 12-county diocese of Reno, the statement said. There has been one allegation against a priest in the 5-county Las Vegas diocese.
The Las Vegas diocese said it had paid $1.8 million for settlements and counseling to victims reporting abuse in the 1950-95 period. The reports were compiled for the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York. A nationwide accounting of abuse claims and costs is expected to be reported later this month.
The Reno diocese said the study included 13 victims. All of the information about the priests or their accusers was presented in an anonymous format.
In Nevada, the Rev. Mark Roberts pleaded guilty in January 2003 to lewdness and child abuse involving five teens at his Henderson parish.
Roberts, 53, was sentenced to probation and treatment at an out-of-state center for wayward priests.
Monsignor Robert Bowling of Reno died year after being named in lawsuits accusing him of sexually abusing women from 1958 to 1962 at a Catholic church and school near Louisville, Ky.
"The complaints ... claims abuse in Kentucky nearly 40 years ago, prior to his coming to Nevada," the Reno diocese statement said.
The Louisville diocese apologized in June and settled more than 200 cases, agreeing to pay victims $25.7 million. Bowling maintained his innocence despite the settlement. He died of cancer three days after it was announced.
Report: Eight priests accused from 1950-95
By Frank Geary
Catholic churches in Nevada paid a total of $2.5 million for settlements and counseling to victims during the 45-year period. Payments involving allegations in Southern Nevada totaled $1.8 million, the archdiocese reported in a prepared statement.
"Three of the priests were from this diocese. The remaining five priests were members of other dioceses or members of Religious Communities. None of those identified are involved in active ministry anywhere in the country at this time," states a report from the diocese.
Information on sexual abuses cases involving Catholic priests was compiled by the dioceses in Las Vegas, Reno and elsewhere around the country. The information will be included in a report to be released later this month by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York.
Researchers at John Jay couldn't be reached for comment Friday. Information about the priests or their accusers is anonymous.
Calls to Bishop Joseph Pepe, head of the Diocese of Las Vegas, were referred to a Las Vegas public relations company.
In a prepared statement issued Friday, Pepe said, "The bishops throughout the United States made a promise to the world ... that we would acknowledge mistakes from the past and accept responsibility for creating a safe environment for everyone in our ministries and other programs. The audit of all of the dioceses and the release of this study are just the beginning."
The Archdiocese of Reno and the Archdiocese of Las Vegas were combined in one, statewide archdiocese until they separated into two entities in 1995.
Since then there have been no allegations of sexual abuse of a minor lodged against any priest serving in the 12-county diocese of Reno, the statement said. There have been allegations against one priest in the five-county Las Vegas diocese, which involved former priest Mark Roberts.
The information, which is at least 8 years old, doesn't include any settlements tied to the high-profile lawsuit and criminal case involving Roberts, former pastor at St. Peter the Apostle Church on Boulder Highway in Henderson.
A March 2002 lawsuit pending in District Court contends Roberts used his position of trust to take advantage of six boys, and that church leaders either knew or should have known of Roberts' actions.
Pepe, who is one of the defendants in the case, on Monday unsuccessfully made a motion for summary judgment in the case before District Judge Ron Parraguirre.
Roberts, 52, pleaded guilty last year to sexually abusing five boys at St. Peter the Apostle. In a highly criticized plea agreement negotiated by former District Attorney Stewart Bell, prosecutors agreed not to oppose probation. District Judge Donald Mosley then sentenced Roberts to three years of probation.
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