February 17, 2005

Diocese gives D.A. names

Commercial Appeal

By Bill Dries
February 17, 2005

Memphis Catholic Church officials on Wednesday turned over the names of several employees accused of child sexual abuse to the District Attorney General's Office for possible criminal investigation.

Asst. Dist. Atty. Kevin Rardin, the chief prosecutor of child sexual abuse cases in Shelby County, said the number of names on the list of accused employees -- which includes priests -- is "approximately 10 or less."

He wouldn't be more specific, citing state law governing the confidentiality of child sexual abuse complaints. But Catholic Bishop J. Terry Steib acknowledged in 2003 the diocese had received complaints of sexual abuse involving seven priests.

The diocese presented its report during an hourlong meeting at the DA's office Downtown, following up on a Jan. 5 agreement to report all past and any future allegations made to the diocese of child sexual abuse involving priests, clergy and any other church employees in Shelby County.

The agreement covers three accused priests whose names have been made public either through civil lawsuits or by the diocese in announcing disciplinary action.

Posted by kshaw at February 17, 2005 06:43 AM