May 05, 2005

Judge limits discussion on lawsuit against priest

Des Moines Register

May 5, 2005
A judge has limited public disclosures on a Des Moines man's molestation lawsuit against a former Dowling Catholic High School priest - just days after the man gave three television interviews about his allegations.

Polk County District Judge Scott Rosenberg, ruling on a request from the Des Moines Catholic Diocese, prohibited parties in the lawsuit from publicly discussing personnel records, insurance and financial information, and medical records of plaintiff John S. Chambers or the defendant, the Rev. Leonard A. Kenkel.

Rosenberg also ordered the attorneys involved to refrain from commenting on the case and its merits and urged the parties to exercise "the utmost civility and decorum in these proceedings and when dealing with each other."

Chambers filed a lawsuit on March 28 that accused Kenkel, who now is a parish priest in Creston and Afton, of fondling him in the classroom while he was a student at Dowling in the late 1960s.

Diocese officials, objecting to Chambers' television interviews, said his remarks were embarrassing and damaged the ability of the diocese and the priest to defend the case.

Posted by kshaw at May 5, 2005 07:43 AM