May 06, 2006

Report: Church Panel Began Reviewing Case In 2002


(AP) PUEBLO, Colo. A sexual misconduct board of the Catholic Church began reviewing a high school teacher's case about three years before church officials have said they learned of molestation allegations against him, The Pueblo Chieftain reported Thursday.

The newspaper said it obtained letters to and from Pueblo Diocese officials indicating the panel took up the case of William Mueller, a former member of the Marianist order, in 2002.

More than 15 lawsuits have been filed against the diocese and the order, claiming Mueller sedated and molested students when he taught at the church-run Roncalli High School from 1966 to 1971. The lawsuits allege the diocese and the order did not protect the students.

Mueller, 67, voluntarily left the Marianist order in 1986 and now lives in San Antonio. He has denied sexual misconduct.

The diocese and the order also have denied wrongdoing in the way they handled Mueller's case.

Posted by kshaw at May 6, 2006 08:15 AM