March 04, 2005

Archdiocese sued again over 1970s abuse cases

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Posted: March 3, 2005
The alleged 1970s child molestations by now-deceased Catholic priest Siegfried Widera have drawn a second lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Milwaukee over its handling of the situation.

The new lawsuit was filed Thursday by two men who claim they were abused as boys between 1973 and 1976 by Widera, when he has assigned to St. Andrew Parish in Delavan. The suit claims that current Superior Diocese Bishop Raphael Fliss - then the Milwaukee Archdiocese secretary - knew that Widera, who had been convicted earlier in 1973 of "sexual perversion" involving a boy in Ozaukee County, had molested boys again but didn't tell police or parishioners. The civil fraud lawsuit for unspecified damages claims that had either man's family known then that Widera "was a danger to children," neither would have been in a position to be molested.

Widera committed suicide in 2004 by leaping out of a third-story window in Mexico as authorities drew closer to arresting him on 42 molestation counts. He was 62.

Posted by kshaw at March 4, 2005 06:07 AM