February 15, 2005

Archdiocese confirms link to abuse suit

Des Moines Register

The Archdiocese of Dubuque has confirmed it was named in a lawsuit alleging sexual abuse of a minor by the Rev. William Schwartz.

In the civil lawsuit, filed in Linn County in July 2004, Dan Ortmann of Cedar Rapids alleged that he was abused during a church retreat in 1984.

The archdiocese first learned of Ortmann's allegation in 2003, said Sister Carol Hoverman, a spokeswoman for the archdiocese. The plaintiff and the archdiocese reached a settlement in October 2004.

Schwartz was placed under church penalties in 1993, according to the archdiocese. Catholics in the Archdiocese of Dubuque should have been made aware of the alleged abuse at that time, said Steve Theisen, co-director of North East Iowa SNAP , or Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

"1993 is 12 years ago," Theisen said. "Why has it taken the archdiocese 12 years to notify the faith community?"

Posted by kshaw at February 15, 2005 08:46 AM