January 18, 2006

Lawsuit Alleges Diocese Covered Up Priest Abuse


DES MOINES, Iowa -- A lawsuit claims the Des Moines diocese was involved in a conspiracy to conceal the wrong doing of a priest accused of sex abuse.

The complainant is only identified as John Doe. The lawsuit was filed at the Polk County Courthouse Tuesday.

The suit names Albert Wilwerding as the priest who sexually abused John Doe. John Doe grew up in Lacona. The abuse allegedly happened when the priest was at St. Mary's Parish in Rosemont.

Wilwerding is now deceased.

The lawsuit also said the Des Moines Catholic diocese was negligent because it knew of Wilwerdings sexual misconduct and failed to warn parishes.

John Doe is asking for damages from the diocese.

Members of the group SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, held a news conference downtown in support of John Doe.

Posted by kshaw at January 18, 2006 04:15 PM