April 28, 2005

Lawsuit alleges abuse by priest at Dowling in 1967-68

Des Moines Register

April 28, 2005
A Des Moines man has sued the Diocese of Des Moines and the Rev. Leonard Kenkel, alleging that he was sexually abused by the priest when he was a student at Dowling Catholic High School.

John S. Chambers, who has been a member of St. Augustin's Parish, alleges that during the 1967-68 school year, Kenkel kneaded and fondled his buttocks during sophomore biology class.

Chambers also alleges that the priest exposed himself while talking about "receiving the body of Christ."

Kenkel now serves St. Edward's Parish in Afton and Holy Spirit Parish in Creston, according to the Des Moines Diocese's Web site.

Anne Marie Cox, communications director of the diocese, acknowledged the lawsuit in a statement that said the diocese's Allegation Review Committee had reviewed Chambers' complaint, but did not find sufficient evidence to confirm abuse.

"The diocese will vigorously defend any claim that has been determined to lack any basis in fact," said Cox's statement.

Posted by kshaw at April 28, 2005 09:19 AM