February 08, 2006

Probe of retired bishop began in '02, papers show

Des Moines Register


February 8, 2006

"Confidential" letters and documents made public in court Monday say that the Davenport Catholic Diocese began investigating retired Bishop Lawrence Soens of Sioux City in 2002 after a former student repeatedly called a Catholic school.

During the inquiry, a member of the board of Regina High School in Iowa City corroborated the allegations, alleging that he, too, had suffered repeated abuse by Soens, according to papers filed in a lawsuit against Soens and the Davenport diocese in Scott County District Court.

Soens' attorney, Timothy Bottaro of Sioux City, said Tuesday he had not seen the court filing. He declined to comment except to reiterate that "Bishop Soens has denied these allegations."

Names of the former student who first alleged he was "tortured" by Soens and the school board member have been removed from the court papers, which include the confidential investigation summary and a letter written to notify Soens of the investigation.

Posted by kshaw at February 8, 2006 08:20 AM