March 23, 2005

Dallas diocese faces criminal investigation

The University News

By Heather O'Connell/Contributing Writer
Published: Wednesday, March 23, 2005

The Dallas County District Attorney (DA) opened a criminal investigation last month to examine how the Catholic diocese in Dallas handles allegations of clergy sexual misconduct.
The DA, Bill Hill, intends to ascertain whether Bishop Charles Grahmann "has received any allegations of abuse by members of the clergy that have not subsequently been reported to law enforcement," Rachel Horton, a spokeswoman for Hill, said.
After examining clergy personnel records "for any indication of violations of state laws relating to minors" three years ago, Grahmann claimed all violators had been removed from ministry and all allegations of abuse had been reported to the state as required by law.
Two recent events, however, have provoked the DA's office to verify Grahmann's claim.
First, Father William Richard, a priest in Rockwall who retired last month because of a dispute concerning the parish music minister, had several claims of sexual misconduct filed against him. Several students from Catholic high schools in Dallas and Plano where Richard worked alleged incidents of sexual abuse by Richard occurring in 1993.

Posted by kshaw at March 23, 2005 07:13 AM