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Jefferson City Clergy Sexual Abuse Lawyer

Diocese of Jefferson CityCatholicism, under the guidance of the Vatican, remains one of the leading worldwide religious institutions. There are well over a billion Catholics belonging to the global congregation. Pope Francis guides the Christian ecclesiastical body from Rome, Italy. The structure is built on a hierarchy of the Pope, cardinals, bishops, pastors, parish priests, deacons, religious brothers, lay volunteers, and religious women at churches worldwide.

Over the last twenty years, Roman Catholic Church officials have faced intense scrutiny from parishioners and law enforcement in every state, including Missouri. Clergy child sex abusers have targeted innocent children and vulnerable adults at churches, schools, summer camps, church-related functions, sporting events, and academic settings.

In Missouri, nearly 200 Catholic religious leaders have faced a credible accusation of sexual abuse of minors and young adults, including in the Diocese of Jefferson City. Often, instead of the Church helping the sexual assault survivor with counseling, they embarrass or shame the victim to ensure they remain silent.

Jefferson City Dioceses Sexual Assault Attorney

Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC as long provided advocacy through legal assistance and representation for victims who were sexually assaulted in the Jefferson City religious community. We have used our years of experience and follow Missouri tort law to protect our client’s rights and personal privacy.

Our lawyers remain committed to obtaining maximum financial compensation on behalf of our clients. If you were victimized through Catholic clergy abuse, let us handle every aspect of your case to ensure we take immediate action for a successful outcome.

We resolve cases involving the Catholic Church and other religious institutions, including the Baptist Church, Episcopal Church, and others. We understand that the sexual abuse you endured has left you with long-lasting effects that might include anxiety and depression. Talk to us today in a confidential setting about what happened. We are here to listen.

An Ongoing Problem

Since the 1970s, at least thirty-seven religious leaders in the Jefferson City Diocese have faced credible allegations of sexual abuse of a minor or young adult. For decades, bishops at the local level handled cases of sexual misconduct among members of the clergy. At that time, only a few predatory priests were placed on administrative leave or were laicized (removed from the priesthood) to ensure they had no access to the congregation.

For hundreds of years, the response from Church officials was often nonexistent. Church leaders often looked the other way and hid evidence from parishioners and local law enforcement. Only within the last twenty years has the public image of the Roman Catholic Church changed when members and the media began exposing systematic, blatant attempts of parish priests and bishops hiding or minimizing what occurred.

The Missouri Catholic Church was slow to make the necessary changes in the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, St. Louis Archdiocese, Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau, and Jefferson City Diocese.

Jefferson City Diocese Adds Names of Clergy Members to Their Child Sex Abusers List

In December 2018, the Catholic Diocese of Jefferson City released their updated list of clergy sexual abuse identifying thirty-five religious leaders with credible accusations of sexual assault. At the time, two additional names were added to the list in the status of another priest was changed.

Church officials added the late Reverend Don Greene to their list and updated the existing information on Father Mel Lahr. The Church claims that they removed Reverend Lahr from active ministry due to “a credible allegation of violation of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.” Additionally, religious leaders removed Father Robert Duesdieker from his duties after a credible allegation of a Charter violation arose.

According to diocesan records, the last physical, sexual assault incident involving a clergy member occurred in 1997. At the time of the announcement, Bishop McKnight stated, “it is with great sorrow that I publish this list. I humbly and sincerely offer my deepest apologies to those who have been abused by clergy and religious.” Bishop Shawn McKnight added, “I also offer my condolences to them, their families, friends, and communities.”

Church officials for the Diocese of Jefferson City, including Shawn McKnight, encourage individuals to report the victimization or suspected abuse of anyone harmed by clergy members. Survivors of abuse or their family and friends can contact the Missouri Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline at (800) 392-3738 or the Missouri Adult Abuse and Neglect Hotline at (800) 392-0210.

Missouri’s Thirteen-Month Investigation on Clergy Sexual Abuse Reveals Possible Criminal Activity

At a criminal referrals press conference in September 2019, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt identified a dozen religious leaders facing possible criminal prosecution due to inappropriate sexual activity with minors. The comprehensive investigation included referrals of former clergy members. There was evidence of inappropriate sexual behavior involving priests, brothers, sisters, and other religious leaders in the Diocese of Jefferson City, Springfield-Cape Girardeau, Kansas City-St. Joseph, and the Archdiocese of St. Louis.

The investigation began a year earlier after a Pennsylvania Grand Jury report found child sex abuse involving over 1000 minor Catholic parishioners. Some of the sexual assault dated back to the early 1940s when church officials began hiding the evidence from the congregation, the police, and the public.

The Attorney General stated at a news conference that “the betrayal of trust of the innocence is devastating and, in many instances, incomprehensible.” The state identified over 160 priests, deacons, and other religious leaders facing accusations of sexual misconduct or abuse involving minors.

Out of that number, over eighty had already passed away. The remaining eighty priests are still alive. However, forty-six of those cases have already passed the statute of limitations to file a claim for compensation to restore their damages.

In response to the Attorney General’s remarks, Jefferson City Diocese Bishop McKnight stated that he hoped the release of the report would help increase the Church’s transparency and accountability and begin restoring the trust in the Church and its leaders.

To maintain a children’s safety network, the Diocesan Review Board turned evidence of clergy sexual assault involving survivors of abuse over to local prosecutors and the Missouri Attorney General’s Office. Last year, the Jefferson City Diocese participated in the investigation and released similar lists of religious leaders facing an allegation of abuse. The accused child sex abusers included thirty reverends and five clergy members belonging to a religious order.

Failing to Accept Responsibility in the Jefferson City Diocese

In recent years, priests in the Roman Catholic Church have created international headlines in cases that involve child sex abuse by clergy members. Roman Catholic Church officials worldwide have exposed their failure to take responsibility for predatory priests in reporting cases to civil authorities and law enforcement. Before then, it was rare for the local Bishop or parish priest to speak to the congregation and tell parishioners that there is evidence that a child predator is in their midst.

It was not that long ago that Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI, and Pope Francis made significant changes in Church doctrine and edicts to create a safer environment for the Catholic congregation. These changes only came after investigators around the world exposed the Church for using policies and procedures to protect child abusers.

In response, the Roman Catholic Church, and dioceses all across America, including in Jefferson City, began publishing their list of predatory priests who had retired, were deceased, remained in “active ministry,” were placed on administrative leave, or left the priesthood.

The public release of these lists caught the attention of state legislatures that began changing the laws and extending the time victims had to file civil lawsuits against the Church and their sexual abuser. These changes to state law extended the statute of limitations so that victims could still file a claim for compensation before their time expired.

Hiring a Diocese Of Jefferson City Sexual Abuse Attorney

Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC protects sexual abuse survivors who were injured by Catholic bishops, cardinals, priests, deacons, brothers, sisters, and nuns. Our legal team ensures that our clients receive justice while they seek financial compensation needed to heal.

We understand that holding the Church and your abuser accountable can never take away the memories or allow you to regain your lost innocence. However, seeking financial compensation to recover from your horrific experience can help you protect others from the predatory priest that caused you harm.

Are you a sexual abuse survivor, injured by a clergy member? Has the time to file expired due to the state statute of limitations? Is your abuser deceased or retired from the priesthood? If so, our legal team can help. Let us discuss your case in a confidential setting and provide numerous legal options on how to move forward.

Our legal team accepts all personal injury cases and sexually abused survivor lawsuits through a contingency fee agreement. The payment of our legal fees is postponed until we have successfully resolved your case in court or obtained a negotiated settlement.

In recent years, our law firm has obtained over $250 million on behalf of our clients to recover their damages and can help you too. We accept all cases where the predatory priest is deceased, retired, laicized (removed from the priesthood), on administrative leave, or still ministering to the congregation. However, time is of the essence. All necessary documents must be filed in the appropriate state courthouse timely.

List of Clergy Abusers in the Diocese of Jefferson City

Behan, Hugh

Ordained: 1964
In 1993, Island-native Father Hugh Behan faced allegations that he sexually molested an underage girl in 1983. At the time of the alleged assault, the victim was thirteen years old. A separate female victim filed allegations against Reverend Behan’s sexual misconduct that occurred when she was eighteen years old. However, Church officials allowed the priest to remain in his position until 1999 when a new Jefferson City Diocese Bishop placed Father Behan on administrative leave. Three years later, Reverend Behan was working as a greeter in Florida at Disney World. Some parishioners visiting Disney from Missouri identified the priest and reported his whereabouts to the Diocese. When officials from the Diocese notified Disney, the company immediately fired Reverend Behan. However, Behan told others that he resigned from his position from the Church due to health reasons. His name remained on the November 2018 Diocese of Jefferson City list.

Current Status: Faced accusations of sexual misconduct


Brooke, Geoffrey A.

Ordained: 2015
In March 2019, Church officials placed Father Geoffrey A. Brooke on administrative leave after allegations arose that he violated the boundaries with minors. At the time of the alleged assault, he worked at a Jefferson City school and as the associate pastor of Immaculate Conception Parish. In March 2019, the Diocese of Jefferson City Bishop McKnight wrote a letter to the congregation and school community and informed them of Reverend Brooke’s inappropriate behavior. The Diocese’s Review Board initiated an investigation into the allegations. Before Father Brooke was ordained to the Roman Catholic Church, he was assigned a position at the Catholic News Service in Washington, DC. He was first assigned to the Jefferson City Diocese at the Sacred Heart Parish and St. Patrick’s Church in Sedalia. He was also assigned to work at the University of Missouri Newman Center.

Current Status: Faced accusations of sexual misconduct


Buescher, David G.

Ordained: 1971
Father David G. Buescher faced allegations of sexual abuse before his death in 2013. Between 1971 and 1976, he worked at the Hannibal, MO St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary and was a Faculty Member and Spiritual Director who taught liturgy, speech, music, and religion. Documents reveal that from 1985 until 1988, he served the Roman Catholic Church on a “special assignment.” His name appears on the November 2018 Diocese of Jefferson City list.

Current Status: Died: 2013


Clohessy, Kevin

Ordained: 1985
In 1993, a Northeast Missouri State University student alleged that Father Kevin Clohessy had sexually molested him while the priest was assigned to the Student Center. The Church conducted an internal investigation concerning the accusation involving one victim. The results of the investigation substantiated the allegation. As a result, Reverend Father Kevin Clohessy was removed from his active priesthood and relocated to a treatment center. In 1995, the Church reassigned Father Clohessy to a new parish. Five years later, the Reverend took a voluntary leave of absence from his position. By 2003, a lawsuit alleged that Father Kevin Clohessy and another priest had sexually molested an underage boy. The lawsuit claims that Reverend Clohessy sexually molested the child between 1984 and 1993.

Current Status: Laicized – Removed from the priesthood by Vatican


Collins, Jude

Ordained: ?
Brother Jude Collins faced allegations of sexual misconduct. During brother Collins’ career, he served as a member of the Congregation of Presentation Brothers. His name appears on the November 2018 Diocese of Jefferson City’s list.

Current Status: Died: 2000


Daly, Manus

Ordained: 1965
In March 2002, the Roman Catholic Church removed Father Manus Daly from active ministry when past allegations of sexual misconduct arose. The alleged molestation involved a St. Thomas Aquinas seminarian student when the priest was the Dean of Students. Allegedly, Father Daly attempted to seduce the boy while on a trip to Belleville. In 1996, the adult male complained to Church officials at the Diocese of Jefferson City. In response, the Church settled the case for $125,000 in 1996. Father Daly’s name appears on the 2018 Jefferson City Diocese list.

Current Status: Removed from active ministry


DeAngelis, John B.

Ordained: 1944
In 2019, the Diocese of Jefferson City publicly named Father John B. DeAngelis with credible allegations of sexual misconduct involving an innocent victim.

Current Status: Died: 1989


Degnan, John F.

Ordained: 1951
In 2001, Father John F. Degnan faced allegations of sexually molesting an underage male in the 1960s. In 2002 and 2005, additional allegations of sexual misconduct arose. In all, there were from seventeen to up to fifty alleged sexual abuse survivors associated with Degnan. In 2005, the Diocese of Jefferson City settled a claim for $60,000 involving Reverend Degnan’s inappropriate sexual activity with one victim. Near the end of Father Degnan ‘s life, Church officials ordered him to live a Missouri residential treatment center under supervision. During his career, he was assigned to the Westphalia, MO St. Joseph Parish as its pastor, between 1961 and 1962, and again between 1971 and 1974. Between 1982 and 1987, he was assigned to the Montgomery City, MO Immaculate Conception Parish. He also worked at churches in Pilot Grove, Gravois Mills, Linn, Boonville, Dixon, Saint Elizabeth, Versailles, and Chouteau Springs. Degnan’s name appears on the 2018 Diocese of Jefferson City list.

Current Status: Died: 2010


Dorn, Louis E.

Ordained: 1972
In 2006, Church officials of the Diocese of Jefferson City placed Father Louis E. Dorn on leave of absence after allegations arose that the priest sexually assaulted an innocent victim several years ago. Church documents reveal no other details. However, an article dated December 2006 revealed that the archdiocese cleared Reverend Dorn of any wrongdoing involving inappropriate sexual contact and allowed him to return to active duty. The Roman Catholic Review Board found that one allegation of sexual misconduct could not be substantiated.

Current Status: Placed on leave in 2006


Doyle, Brendan

Ordained: 1963
In November 2011, Church officials for the Diocese of Jefferson City temporarily placed Father Brendan Doyle on a leave of absence while he was assigned at the Helias High School. The Church stated that a computer technician found “inappropriate images” on the Reverend’s computer that was removed from his possession for further examination. As of December 2011, Reverend Doyle remained in residence at the Immaculate Conception Parish. However, he relinquished his duties as the Church’s Associate Pastor. In December 2011, a “whistleblower” sent the SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) Organization a letter. The document acknowledged that Church officials at the Diocese of Jefferson City knew of the priest’s inappropriate sexual activity in 2008. By March 2011, the Jefferson City Diocese Review Board recommended that the priest remains under continued supervision. Father Doyle’s name appears on the January 2018 Diocese of Jefferson City list.

Current Status: Faced accusations of sexual misconduct


Duesdieker, Robert W.

Ordained: 1980
In December 2016, Church officials placed Father Robert W. Duesdieker on administrative leave after allegations arose of inappropriate sexual conduct involving minors more than two decades before. An investigation was conducted by local law enforcement and the Diocese of Jefferson City. The alleged sexual abuse incidents allegedly happened at the time that Reverend Duesdieker worked at the Owensville, MO Immaculate Conception Parish. Duesdieker denied the accusations. However, the Jefferson City Diocese Review Board found the allegations against Father Duesdieker to be credible. The priest’s name is added to the 2018 Jefferson City Diocese list.

Current Status: Placed on leave in December 2016


Duggan, Thomas

Ordained: 1947
In 2019, the Diocese of Jefferson City publicly named Father Thomas Duggan with credible allegations of sexual misconduct involving an innocent victim.

Current Status: Died: 2009


Faletti, Stephen L.

Ordained: 1983
In 2002, before being fired by the Diocese of Jefferson City, a youth worker reported the complaint about Father Stephen L. Faletti and another priest’s inappropriate sexual behavior. At that time in 1991, the Reverend was at a high school seminary. Records dated in the mid-1990s revealed that Church officials removed the priest from active priesthood when credible allegations arose that he sexually molested minors. The 2002 Catholic directory revealed that the Roman Catholic Church placed  Father Faletti on a leave of absence. Peoria, Illinois-native Reverend Faletti was ordained for the Jefferson City Diocese in 1983. His name appears on the November 2018 Diocese of Jefferson City List.

Current Status: Died: 2017


Fischer, John H.

Ordained: 1964
A news article dated March 2002 revealed that in 1996, an alleged sexual assault survivor accused Father John H. Fischer of sexual molestation occurring at the Catholic school. The alleged sexual abuse occurred when the victim was eleven years old. At that time, Reverend Fischer kissed the victim on the lips. The victim states that the alleged sexual abuse involving the priest lasted for two years. The Diocese of Jefferson City negotiated a $125,000 out of court settlement to resolve the case against Father Fischer, Father Manis Daly, and Reverend Anthony J O’Connell, who would later become a Bishop. In 1993, Church officials removed Reverend Fischer from active priesthood when allegations arose that he sexually assaulted other children. His name appears on the November 2018 Diocese of Jefferson City list.

Current Status: Removed from active ministry


Greene, Donal

Ordained: ?
In 2019, the Diocese of Jefferson City publicly named Father Donal Greene with credible allegations of sexual misconduct involving an innocent victim.

Current Status: Deceased


Lahr, Melvin

Ordained: 1972
In December 2018, the Diocese of Jefferson City added the name of Father Melvin Lahr to their list of religious leaders with credible accusations of sexual misconduct.

Current Status: Accused of sexual misconduct


Long, John

Ordained: 1961
In 2019, the Diocese of Jefferson City publicly named Father John Long with credible allegations of sexual misconduct involving an innocent victim. Church officials removed Reverend Long from active ministry.

Current Status: Removed from active ministry


Lucas, Eric

Ordained: ?
Brother Eric Lucas’ name appears on the November 2018 Diocese of Jefferson City list of religious leaders with credible accusations of sexual misconduct. Church officials removed the member of the Congregation of the Presentation Brothers from active ministry.

Current Status: Removed from active ministry


McMyler, Patrick

Ordained: 1964
In 2019, the Diocese of Jefferson City publicly named Father Patrick McMyler with credible allegations of sexual misconduct involving an innocent victim.

Current Status: Died: 1985


McNally, James P.

Ordained: 1980
In 1986, Father James P. McNally was a St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary graduate (class of 1980) staff member working at the seminary. That year, he befriended a sixteen-year-old student and became the child’s family friend. Reverend McNally faced accusations that he sexually assaulted the male student at church rectories and on trips. In 1996, the alleged sexual abuse survivor told Diocese of Jefferson City Bishop McAuliffe about the priest’s inappropriate sexual conduct. The Bishop sent Father McNally for treatment. It was not until a news article was published in 2004 that the public became aware of the priest’s inappropriate behavior. Afterward, the Reverend left the priesthood, Vatican laicized (defrocked – removed from the priesthood) McNally, and he got married. Reverend McNally’s name appears on the November 2018 Diocese list.

Current Status: Laicized – Removed from the priesthood by Vatican


Mohan, James J.

Ordained: 1959
Ireland-native Father James J. Mohan faced accusations of sexually assaulting at least two underage males. Church officials from the Diocese of Jefferson City suddenly removed Reverend Mohan from his last assignment at the Vienna, M0 Visitation Parish. Some reports indicated that law enforcement had issued his arrest warrant. Reportedly, Church officials from the Jefferson City Diocese quickly reassigned him in the middle of the night from his parish to ensure he was on a plane flying to England. A review of Church records from the 1980s stated he was working outside of the Diocese. His name appears on the November 2018 Jefferson City Diocese list.

Current Status: Died: 1990


Mulokozi, Deusdedit

Ordained: 2003
In 2019, the Diocese of Jefferson City publicly named Father Deusdedit Mulokozi with credible allegations of sexual misconduct involving an innocent victim. The Church conducted an internal investigation concerning the accusation involving one victim. The results of the investigation substantiated the allegation. In May 2015, a fifteen-year-old female reported to local law enforcement that Reverend Mulokozi gave her a “dirty hug” after she attended a counseling session at Sacred Heart Parish. An investigation ensued, and the detectives requested that the District Attorney’s Office charge Father Mulokozi with third-degree assault. However, the local prosecutor did not pursue the case. The Diocese of Jefferson City Review Board found that the priest had violated his boundaries. The Church sent Father Mulokozi for evaluation at the Houston, Liberty Treatment Center. The Jefferson City Diocese expelled Reverend Mulokozi from the ministry. The Tanzania-born priest’s Order (Precious Blood) allowed him to maintain active in ministry in Tanzania, where, as of February 2019, he was serving the congregation in a Numbyaniu, Kenya Parish. Known as Father Deo, Mulokozi belonged to the Missionaries of the Precious Blood. In 2014, he arrived in Missouri on assignment for the Kansas City Province. From 2014 until 2015, he was assigned to the Bahner, MO St. John the Evangelist Parish, Sedalia, MO St. Patrick’s Church, and Sacred Heart Parish.

Current Status: Accused of sexual misconduct


Musholt, Silas

Ordained: 1951
In 2019, the Diocese of Jefferson City publicly named Franciscan Father Silas Musholt with credible allegations of sexual misconduct involving an innocent victim.

Current Status: Died: 1999


Nixon, Dominic

Ordained: ?
Brother Dominic Nixon’s name appears on the November 2018 Jefferson City Diocese’s list involving clergy members with credible allegations of sexual misconduct. Dominic Nixon is a member of the Congregation of Presentation Brothers. Church notes revealed that officials removed brother Dominic Nixon from active ministry within the diocese of Jefferson City.

Current Status: Removed from active ministry


O’Connell (Bp), Anthony J.

Ordained: 1963
In March 2002, Bishop Anthony J. O’Connel resigned from his position in the Diocese of Jefferson City after he had admitted to inappropriate sexual behavior involving children in Missouri decades before. In 2004, the Roman Catholic Church settled two claims involving Bishop O’Connel for $5000 each. O’Connel participated in the payment, as did the Diocese of Jefferson City. Numerous other claims were filed throughout Missouri involving Bishop O’Connel. During his career, he served as the Bishop of the Diocese of Knoxville between 1988 and 1998 and as Bishop of the Diocese of Palm Beach between 1998 and 2002. In May 2012, new accusers came forward, claiming they had been sexually assaulted by Bishop O’Connel. The accusations came just after the Bishop died in May 2012. His name appears on the November 2018 Jefferson City Diocese’s list. In September 2019, a lawsuit was filed against the Roman Catholic Church claiming that O’Connel and Reverend Xavier Mankle sexually assaulted an underage minor in the 1990s. That case was settled out of court in December 2019. He is also named on the March 2020 Diocese of Knoxville, Tennessee list.

Current Status: Named in a civil lawsuit


Patterson, Charles H.

Ordained: 1951
Father Charles H. Patterson faced allegations of sexually abusing a minor. However, church records do not provide any other details of when and where the alleged assault occurred. During Reverend Patterson’s career, he served as the Hannibal, MO St. Thomas Aquinas Preparatory Seminary Rector from 1957 until the early 1960s. He was assigned to many different positions in the Roman Catholic Church at the Diocese of Jefferson City. Father Pattison retired from the priesthood in 2005 and died five years later at the age of eighty-six.

Current Status: Died: 2010


Pool, Gary W.

Ordained: 1982
In 2003, Father Gary W. Pool’s name appears in a filed civil lawsuit alleging that the Reverend (formerly a deacon) sexually assaulted an innocent male victim between 1979 and 1984. The alleged sexual abuse survivor stated that he sought counseling through another priest who sexually assaulted him between 1984 and 1993. Father Pool denied the accusations. By 1987, Reverend Pool took a leave of absence from his priestly duties. In 1993, the Vatican laicized (defrocked – removed from the priesthood) Pool and later married. His name is found on the November 2018 Diocese of Jefferson City list.

Current Status: Laicized – Removed from the priesthood by Vatican


Schlachter, Eric A.

Ordained: 1981
In 2019, the Diocese of Jefferson City publicly named Father Eric A. Schlachter with credible allegations of sexual misconduct involving an innocent victim. Church officials removed the Reverend from active ministry.

Current Status: Removed from active ministry


Schutty, John Joseph

Ordained: 1983
In April 2006, Church officials at the Diocese of Jefferson City placed Father John Joseph Schutty on administrative leave after receiving accusations of his sexual misconduct involving a child several years before. In December 2006, the Diocese announced the results of the Church -related Review Board that found the accusations were credible. Officials then removed Reverend Father John Joseph Schutty as pastor at a local church. The priest’s name appears on the November 2018 Jefferson City Diocese list.

Current Status: Removed from active ministry


Scobee, Robert G.

Ordained: 1937
During Father Robert G. Scobee career, he faced allegations of inappropriate sexual conduct involving an innocent victim. Between 1970 and 1972, Church officials from the Diocese of Jefferson City placed Reverend Scobee on administrative leave before sending him for treatment at the Jemez Springs, NM Servants of the Paraclete facility. Between 1973 and 1974, the Roman Catholic church reassigned Father Scobee to a new parish. In 1975, he had no assignments until his retirement in 1976. The priest died in 1979.

Current Status: Died: 1979


Seifner, Thomas

Ordained: 1992
Starting in July 2009, Church officials at the Diocese of Jefferson City assigned Father Thomas Seifner as pastor of different parishes in Bonnots Mill and Loose Creek, MO. In December of that year, allegations arose that he had engaged in “inappropriate electronic communication” with a male child five years before. The Jefferson City Diocese Review Board found the accusations of his sexual misconduct involving a minor to be accurate. The priest’s name appears on the November 2018 Jefferson City Diocese list.

Current Status: Removed from active ministry


Smyth, Sean J.

Ordained: 1959
In the late 1990s, the Diocese of Jefferson City obtain reports that Monsignor Gregory Higley knew that Father Sean J. Smyth sexually molested an underage minor around 1959. At the time of the alleged assault, the female victim was five years old. Reverend Smyth’s name appears on the November 2018 Jefferson City Diocese list.

Current Status: Died: 1990


Tatro, Timothy

Ordained: 1999
In 2019, the Diocese of Jefferson City publicly named Father Timothy Tatro with credible allegations of sexual misconduct involving an innocent victim. Church officials removed the Reverend from active ministry.

Current Status: Removed from active ministry


Wallace, Donald L.

Ordained: 1962
In 1997, the parents of for victims accused Father Donald L. Wallace of sexual “boundary violations” due to his inappropriate activities. After the allegations raised by the four boys, Church officials sent Reverend Wallace for treatment before his reassignment in 1998 to minister in the hospital. At that time, the Reverend remained under supervision. In 2000, the Church reassigned Reverend Wallace to a new parish until his retirement two years later. The priest chose not to minister to the congregation that year to avoid “further evaluation.” Father Wallace’s name appears on the November 2018 Diocese of Jefferson City list with notations that he had been removed from active ministry.

Current Status: Removed from active ministry


Whiteley, John J.

Ordained: 1967
In 1991, Father John J. Whiteley sexually assaulted an innocent victim between 1969 and 1973. At the time of the alleged sexual abuse, the boy was about twelve years of age. The alleged sexual abuse survivor states that Reverend Whiteley touched his genitals and laid on top of him during trips that were sometimes out of the state of Missouri. Allegedly, he sexually molested others, including the victim’s brother. The two brothers were later accused of sexually assaulting others. Beginning in 1983, Father Whiteley worked as a college chaplain. By 1990, he was an army reserve chaplain, and a year later, he had a chancery job. In 1992, he resigned from his position and disappeared. That same year, after a Missouri Supreme Court decision, the case was dismissed due to the expiration of the statute of limitations law. Reportedly, Father Whiteley was last known to be living in Naples, Florida, but might have relocated to the Miami area. In August 2015, the Diocese of Jefferson City settled the case involving the first victim for $40,000. That sexual abuse survivor asked Church officials to post on the Church’s website the names of religious leaders with proven, admitted, and credible accusations of child sexual assault in the parish. The victim hoping the posting the names would warn Catholics in Florida about Reverend Whiteley. However, the Diocese failed to follow up on the victim’s request. As of November 2018, the Reverend had not been laicized (removed from the priesthood). His name appears on the November 2018 Diocese of Jefferson City list.

Current Status: Laicized – Removed from the priesthood by Vatican

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