February 13, 2005

17 report abuse by former priest



February 13, 2005

Five more people have come forward stating they were abused by former priest John Degnan, said Sister Ethel Marie Biri of the Diocese of Jefferson City. Seventeen abuse cases have been reported to the diocese as of Friday.

The diocese made announcements Jan. 15 at the Montgomery City parish and Jan. 22 at Pilot Grove, Boonville and Westphalia that Degnan, who turns 80 this week, might have sexually abused at least a dozen boys during the 1960s and 1970s in mid-Missouri parishes. They asked those who knew of such abuse to come forward.

No lawsuit has been filed. “It’s certainly a possibility, but we’ve not been contacted yet,” Biri said.

When contacted, the diocese tells alleged abuse victims they can contact law enforcement. The diocese also commits to helping abused individuals by offering support and therapy.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests learned about Degnan from a couple of families last week and wrote a letter to the diocese that prompted the diocese’s formal announcement Tuesday in Jefferson City.

Posted by kshaw at February 13, 2005 10:26 AM