April 28, 2005

Des Moines Diocese Statement


Diocesan response to media inquiries.

We are aware that a lawsuit has been filed against the Diocese of Des Moines and a priest by a man alleging sexual abuse when he was a minor.

The man who filed this suit made a number of complaints and accusations against Father Leonard Kenkel. The man claims he was sexually abused nearly 40 years ago.

The Allegation Review Committee for the Diocese of Des Moines reviewed these complaints and allegations. The Allegation Review Committee is a group of expert volunteers that was created pursuant to the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People adopted in 2002 by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The Allegation Review Committee (whose members include a police detective who does sexual abuse investigations, an attorney with experience prosecuting child abuse cases, a psychologist who has conducted research on child abuse and a judge who has handled juvenile and criminal cases involving child abuse and neglect) reviewed several complaints of past abuse over the last few years. On three occasions in the past, the Allegation Review Committee found evidence of abuse and recommended removing priests from the ministry. Bishop Joseph Charron followed these recommendations.

Posted by kshaw at April 28, 2005 11:59 AM