November 23, 2005

Accused sex abuser wants to return to diocese

Des Moines Register


November 23, 2005

The top administrative officer for the Davenport Catholic Diocese, accused of child sexual abuse, is seeking to return to duties as a priest.

The Davenport diocese said Tuesday it has empaneled a special 10-member review board to consider the request of Monsignor Drake Shafer .

Shafer was vicar general, second in command in the diocese, when a West Burlington man sued him and the diocese alleging the priest sexually assaulted him in the 1970s. Identified only as John Doe, the plaintiff said he was 14 or 15 at the time.

An April 2002 e-mail Shafer sent to the victim was read in a court hearing on March 19, 2004 . In the message, Shafer said he was drunk on the night in question and apologized for hurting the victim.

"I did not intend to abuse you that night or any other," the e-mail said.

Shafer denied the allegations, but later settled the lawsuit. The diocese also settled with the victim as part of a $9 million settlement in 2004 with several plaintiffs.

Posted by kshaw at November 23, 2005 09:52 AM