May 03, 2006

Clergy abuse expert: Alleged Soens abuse is sadism

Des Moines Register


May 3, 2006

A national expert on clergy sex abuse said in court documents filed Monday that the allegations against retired Sioux City Bishop Lawrence Soens could be categorized as sadism.

A sworn statement by A.W. Richard Sipe of La Jolla, Calif., a therapist, researcher and former Benedictine monk, was filed in two Scott County lawsuits against Soens and the Davenport Catholic diocese.

Sipe is listed as an expert witness by Craig Levien, the Davenport attorney for Michael Gould and Dennis Allen, who have filed lawsuits against Soens and the Diocese of Davenport. The men allege they were molested in the 1960s by Soens when they were students and he was principal at Iowa City Regina High School.

"By multiple reports, Soens' persistent habit of painfully twisting, pinching, fondling, massaging or purpling the nipples of male students was commonly known by the students of Regina High School and frequently observed in the hallways of the school," Sipe wrote. " ... Whatever Fr. Soens' motivation in the sexual assaults on minor boys, his behavior was reprehensible and criminal."

Posted by kshaw at May 3, 2006 06:33 AM