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List of substantiated claims of clergy sexual abuse of or sexual misconduct with a minor

Section 1: Substantiated allegations of misconduct with and/or the abuse of a minor which took place after the implementation of Safe Environment standards in 2002

John Fiala

Affiliation: Omaha

Date of Act(s): 2008

Reports: Diocese and LE: 2014

Status: Left Archdiocese of Omaha for religious order, 1996. Deceased, 2017. Incarcerated in Texas for sexual abuse at time of death. 

Description: Sexual abuse, two victims

Parish assignments: Papillion, St. Columbkille; Norfolk, Sacred Heart; Omaha, St. Joan of Arc; Omaha, St. Peter; Omaha, Christ the King; Spencer, St. Mary; Wisner, St. Joseph; Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity.


Deacon Emilio Morales Jordan

Affiliation: Extern, Diocese of Zacapa (Guatemala)

Date of Act(s): 2000-2002

Reports: Diocese and LE: 2003

Status: Left Archdiocese of Omaha in 2003. Whereabouts unknown.

Description: Concerns about misconduct rose to level for referral to LE.


Francis Nigli

Affiliation: Omaha

Date of Act(s): 2013

Reports: Diocese and LE: 2013

Status: Removed from public ministry in June 2018 for additional misconduct with a young adult, subsequent to this allegation. 

Description: Concerns of misconduct rose to level for referral to LE. After professional assessment, was not prohibited from ministry. 

Parish assignments: Omaha, St. Vincent de Paul; Papillion, St. Columbkille; O'Neill, St. Patrick; Amelia, St. Joseph; Omaha, St. Wenceslaus.


Andrew Syring

Affiliation: Omaha

Date of Act(s): 2013 and early 2014

Reports: Diocese and LE: 2009, 2014

Status: Left priestly ministry by resignation in October 2018

Description: Disputed; rose to level for LE referral regarding concerns of misconduct. Multiple allegations. After professional assessment, was not prohibited from ministry.

Parish assignments: Schuyler, Divine Mercy; Omaha, St. Bernard; Omaha. St. Wenceslaus; West Point, St. Mary; Monterey, St. Boniface; Aloys, St. Aloysius; St. Charles, St. Anthony


Deacon Duane Thome

Affiliation: Omaha

Date of Act(s): 2016-2018

Reports: Diocese and LE: 2018

Status: Removed in June 2018

Description: Disputed; Rose to level for LE referral regarding concerns of misconduct.

 

Section 2: Substantiated allegations of the abuse of a minor which took place prior to 2002.

Robert Allgaier

Affiliation: Omaha

Date of Act(s): Prior to 2001

Reports: Diocese and LE: 2001

Status: Removed, 2001

Description: Child pornography

Parish assignments: Norfolk, Sacred Heart; Ralston, St. Gerald.


Richard Arkfeld

Affiliation: Omaha

Date of Act(s): 1980s and prior

Reports: Diocese: 1980s, 2010, 2014, 2018. No LE report was made, as no individual minor was named. However, the unnamed reports are consistent and the claims of abuse are considered to be substantiated.

Status: Retired and deceased, 1996

Description: Sexual abuse. The total number of victims is unknown. 

Parish assignments: Omaha, St. Rose; Atkinson, St. Joseph; Omaha, Holy Cross; Clyde, St. Patrick; Lynch, Assumption; Niobrara, St. William; Ewing, St. Peter of Alcantara; Randolph, St. Jane Frances de Chantal; St. Charles, St. Anthony; Coleridge, St. Michael; Belden, St. Mary; Newcastle, St. Peter; Ponca, St. Joseph.


John Buckson

Affiliation: Omaha

Date of Act(s): Prior to 1994

Reports: Diocese: 1994

Status: Resigned, 2002

Description: Sexual abuse

Parish assignments: Omaha, Our Lady of Guadalupe; Omaha, St. Francis of Assisi; Omaha, St. Agnes; Omaha, Our Lady of Guadalupe; Schuyler, St. Augustine.


Donald Cleary

Affiliation: Omaha

Date of Act(s): 1987

Reports: Diocese and LE: 2018

Status: Removed in 2018

Description: Sexual abuse 

Parish assignments: Omaha, Holy Cross; Omaha, Christ the King; Omaha, St. Peter; Omaha, St. Patrick; O'Neill, St. Patrick; Fordyce, St. John; Constance, St. Joseph; Wayne, St. Mary; Fullerton, St. Peter; Clarks, St. Peter; North Bend, St. Charles Borromeo; Snyder, St. Leo the Great; Omaha, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton.


Franklin Dvorak

Affiliation: Omaha

Date of Act(s): 1970-1972

Reports: Diocese and LE: 2012

Status: Removed in 2012; Living life of prayer and penance

Description: Sexual abuse

Parish assignments: Norfolk, Sacred Heart; O'Neill, St. Patrick; Spencer, St. Mary; Cleridge, St. Michael; Mission of Belden; Hartington, Holy Trinity; Omaha, St. Wencesalus; Omaha, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton.


John Feeney

Affiliation: Extern, Diocese of Green Bay

Date of Act(s): 1962-1963

Reports: Diocese and LE: 2012

Status: Removed from ministry by Diocese of Green Bay, 1986. Laicized, 2005. 

Description: Sexual abuse


John Fiala

Affiliation: Omaha

Date of Act(s): 1984-1986

Reports: Diocese: 2002, 2010, 2011

Status: Left Archdiocese of Omaha for religious order, 1996. Deceased, 2017. Incarcerated in Texas for sexual abuse at time of death. 

Description: Sexual abuse, two victims

Parish assignments: Papillion, St. Columbkille; Norfolk, Sacred Heart; Omaha, St. Joan of Arc; Omaha, St. Peter; Omaha, Christ the King; Spencer, St. Mary; Wisner, St. Joseph; Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity.


Joseph Finch

Affiliation: Omaha

Date of Act(s): Several years, beginning in 1971

Reports: Diocese: 1996; LE: 2002, 2010 

Status: Left Archdiocese of Omaha in 1963 for military chaplaincy. In 1969, relocated to the Diocese of Phoenix. In 1992, given permission by the Bishop of Albany to serve as chaplain to cloistered convent. Left the convent in early 2018. Whereabouts unknown. 

Description: Sexual abuse

Parish assignments: Omaha, Our Lady of Lourdes; Boys Town, Immaculate Conception (Dowd Chapel); Archdiocese of the Military Services; Diocese of Albany


James Gaughan

Affiliation: Extern, Diocese of Mandeville

Date of Act(s): Uncertain

Reports: Diocese: 2003

Status: Left Archdiocese of Omaha for the Diocese of Mandeville, 1999. Deceased, 2009

Description: Sexual abuse. This case was referred to the Diocese of Mandeville.

Parish assignments: Omaha, St. Pius X; Hartington, Holy Trinity; Bellevue, St. Bernadette; Omaha, St. Thomas More; Duncan, St. Stanislaus; Diocese of Mandeville, Jamaica


Edward Gill

Affiliation: Omaha

Date of Act(s): 1962, 1963-1964

Reports: Diocese: 2004

Status: Retired, 1999. Deceased, 2006

Description: Sexual abuse

Parish assignments: Omaha, St. Peter; Coleridge, St. Michael; Norfolk, Sacred Heart; Omaha, St. Agnes; Plainview, St. Paul; Butte, Sts. Peter & Paul; Madison, St. Leonard; Atkinson, St. Joseph; Central City, St. Michael; Stanton, St. Peter; Osmond, St. Mary of the Seven Dolors; St. Edward, St. Edward.


Tom Glennon

Affiliation: Extern

Date of Act(s): 1980-1991

Reports: Diocese: 2018

Status: Retired; Left NE 2018

Description: Sexual abuse


Joseph Henry

Affiliation: Extern

Date of Act(s): 1961-1962

Reports: Diocese and LE: 2012

Status: Deceased

Description: Posthumous; Sexual abuse


Daniel Herek

Affiliation: Omaha

Date of Act(s): 1970s through 1990s

Reports: Diocese and LE: Multiple

Status: Removed, 1998; Prison, 1998; Laicized, 2006

Description: Child pornography and sexual abuse; Number of victims is unknown. 

Parish assignments: Omaha, Assumption; Omaha, Christ the King; Omaha, St. Joan of Arc; Omaha, Mary Our Queen; Omaha, St. Peter; Omaha, St. Bernard; Coleridge, St. Michael; Belden, St. Mary; Beemer, Holy Cross; Omaha. St. Ann; Omaha, St. Richard.


Joseph Hiepvan Ho

Affiliation: Extern, Archdiocese of Sydney

Date of Act(s): 1979-1980

Reports: Diocese: 1990, 2010; Archdiocese of Sydney notified in 2010

Status: Left Archdiocese of Omaha in 1992. Active, according to the website of the Archdiocese of Sydney.

Description: 1990: Boundary violation; 2010: Sexual abuse


Michael Kelly

Affiliation: Omaha

Date of Act(s): 1956-1996

Reports: Diocese: 1998; LE: 2004

Status: Retired, 1995; Removed, 2002; Deceased, 2003

Description: Sexual abuse

Parish assignments: Elgin, St. Boniface; Omaha, St. Cecilia Cathedral; Omaha, St. Peter; Randolph, St. Jane Frances de Chantal; Battle Creek, St. Patrick; Neligh, St. Francis of Assisi; Clearwater, St. Teresa of Avila; Laurel, St. Mary; Genoa, St. Rose of Lima; Lyons, St. Joseph


Daniel Kenney

Affiliation: Extern

Date of Act(s): 1985-1987

Reports: Diocese and LE: 2012

Status: Removed, 2002

Description: Sexual abuse. This case was overseen by the former Wisconsin Province of the Society of Jesus.


Jay Kruse

Affiliation: Omaha

Date of Act(s): 2004

Reports: Diocese and LE : 2004

Status: Removed, 2004; Laicized, 2006

Description: Child pornography

Parish assignments: Fremont, St. Patrick; Roncalli High School; Omaha, St. Pius X; Wynot, Sacred Heart; St. James, Sts. Philip & James; Hartington, Cedar Catholic High School; Ewing, St. Peter of Alcantara; Deloit Township, St. John; Elgin, Pope John XXIII High School; Verdigre, St. Wenceslaus; Niobrara, St. William; O'Neill, St. Patrick; Amelia, St. Joseph.


Larry Toms Kulangara

Affiliation: Extern

Date of Act(s): 1995-2000

Reports: Diocese: 2000; LE: 2004 and 2017

Status: Served in Archdiocese of Omaha from 1997-2000. Returned to his community in 2000. Presumed to be active in the Nigeria-India Province of the SSP. This matter was referred to the Holy See in 2017. 

Description: Sexual abuse, two victims


Duane Lukes

Affiliation: Omaha

Date of Act(s): 1964-1990s

Reports: Diocese: 1985, 2004, 2005; LE: 2015

Status: Deceased, 1998

Description: Sexual abuse, multiple victims

Parish assignments: Omaha, St. Stanislaus; Dodge, St. Wenceslaus; Omaha, St. Pius X; Lindsay, Holy Family; Omaha, St. Ann; Norfolk, Sacred Heart; Niobrara, St. William; St. Edward, St. Edward; Osmond, St. Mary of the Seven Dolors; Norfolk, Immaculata Monastery.


Aloysius McMahon

Affiliation: Omaha

Date of Act(s): 1970-1975

Reports: Diocese: 1998; LE: 2004

Status: Retired, 1997; Deceased, 2011

Description: Disputed; Sexual abuse, two victims

Parish assignments: Omaha, St. Wencesalus; Boys Town, Immaculate Conception (Dowd Chapel); Pierce, St. Joseph; Wisner, St. Joseph; Omaha, St. Frances Cabrini; Omaha, St. Joan of Arc; Omaha, St. Peter


Mark Merkel

Affiliation: Omaha

Date of Act(s): 1999

Reports: Diocese and LE: 1999 and 2004

Status: Removed, 2004; Laicized, 2006 

Description: Sexual abuse

Parish assignments: Fremont. St. Patrick; Omaha, St. Cecilia Cathedral; O'Neill, St. Patrick; West Point Central School; Beemer, Holy Cross.


Anthony Palmese

Affiliation: Extern

Date of Act(s): 1984-1985

Reports: Diocese and LE: 2013

Status: Deceased, 2012

Description: Posthumous; Sexual abuse


Roland Peschel

Affiliation: Omaha

Date of Act(s): 1967

Reports: Diocese: 1993 and 2010; LE: 2010

Status: Retired and removed, 2010

Description: 1993: Disputed; Sexual abuse. 2010: Admitted; Sexual abuse

Parish assignments: Dodge, St. Wenceslaus; Creighton, St. Ludger; Omaha, St. Mary; Omaha, St. Bernard; Omaha, St. James; Omaha, St. Margaret Mary; Omaha, St. Bernard; Randolph, St. Jane Frances de Chantal; O'Neill, St. Patick; Amelisa, St. Joseph; Emmett, Epiphany; Omaha, St. Bernard; Omaha, St. Bernardette; Fremont, St. Patrick; Dodge, St. Wenceslaus; Olean, Sacred Heart; Ralston, St. Gerald.


Anthony Petrusic

Affiliation: Omaha

Date of Act(s): 1970s

Reports: Diocese: 2002

Status: Retired, 1994; Removed, 2002; Deceased, 2010

Description: Sexual abuse, two victims

Parish assignments: Omaha, Sts. Peter & Paul; Omaha, Ryan High School; Omaha, St. Catherine Hospital; Omaha, Notre Dame Convent; Omaha, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton.


Deacon Tom Purnell

Affiliation: Omaha

Date of Act(s): Pre-1991

Reports: Diocese and LE: 1991

Status: Presumed deceased

Description: Sexual abuse, two victims


John Rizzo

Affiliation: Omaha

Date of Act(s): 1962, 1972

Reports: Diocese: 1993, 2002, 2010

Status: Removed, 2002; Retired, 2003

Description: Sexual abuse, two victims. 1972 allegation disputed.

Parish assignments: Omaha, St. Ann; Omaha, Holy Cross; Boys Town, Immaculate Conception; Dixon, St. Anne; Genoa, St. Rose; Ponca, St. Joseph; Waterbury, Immaculate Conception; Menominee, St. Boniface; Stanton, St. Peter; Creighton, St. Ludger; Clarks, St. Peter; Omaha, St. Peter.


Perry Robinson

Affiliation: Extern

Date of Act(s): 1980s

Reports: Diocese: Late 2011; LE: Unknown—Conduct alleged to have occurred in Milwaukee

Status: Removed in early 2012

Description: Sexual abuse. This case was overseen by the former Wisconsin Province of the Society of Jesus.


Al Salanitro

Affiliation: Omaha

Date of Act(s): 1990-1994

Reports: Diocese and LE: 2011, 2012

Status: Removed, 2012; Laicized, 2013

Description: Sexual abuse, three victims

Parish assignments: Omaha, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton; Omaha, Holy Cross; Laurel, St. Mary; Dixon, St. Anne; Blair, St. Francis Borgia; Bellevue, St. Bernadette.


Thomas Sellentin

Affiliation: Omaha

Date of Act(s): 1968-1989

Reports: Diocese: 1968-present; LE: 2018

Status: Removed, 2002

Description: Sexual abuse, 20 to 35 victims

Parish assignments: Omaha. St. Stanislaus; Elgin, St. Boniface; Omaha, St. Joan of Arc; West Point, St. Mary; Lindsay, Holy Family; Omaha, Blessed Sacrament; Spencer, St. Mary; Fullerton, St. Peter; Menominee, St. Boniface; Howells, Sts. Peter & Paul and St. John; North Bend, St. Charles Borromeo; Snyder, St. Leo the Great.


John Starostka

Affiliation: Omaha

Date of Act(s): 1972-1974, 2000

Reports: Diocese: 2001, 2002; LE: 2004

Status: Removed, 2002; Deceased, 2012

Description: Sexual abuse

Parish assignments: Omaha, St. Francis of Assisi; Creigthon, St. Ludger; Omaha, St. Philip Neri; Omaha, St. Stanislaus; Platte Center, St. Joseph; Newcastle, St. Peter; Omaha, St. Cecilia Cathedral; Cedar Rapids, St. Anthony; Primrose, St. Mary.


Robert Steinhausen

Affiliation: Omaha

Date of Act(s): 1982-1986

Reports: Diocese: 2008

Status: Deceased, 1993

Description: Sexual abuse

Parish assignments: Omaha, Holy Cross; South Sioux City, St. Michael; Spencer, St. Mary; Norfolk, Sacred Heart; Papillion, St. Columbkille.

 

Section 3: Activity after leaving the Archdiocese of Omaha or after leaving ministry

Patrick Henry

Affiliation: Omaha

Date of Act(s): 1970s-1980s

Reports: Diocese of Cleveland: ca. 2008

Status: Transferred to the Diocese of Cleveland, 1997

Description: Sexual abuse. This case was overseen by the Diocese of Cleveland. 

Parish assignments: Papillion, St. Columbkille; South Sioux City, St. Michael; Diocese of Cleveland

 

Section 4: Activity Before Entering Formation or Seminary

Deacon Robert Pickett

Affiliation: Omaha

Date of Act(s): 1978

Reports: Diocese: 2016; LE: 1978

Status: Removed, 2016

Description: Sexual abuse


Jeff Zyla

Affiliation: Omaha

Date of Act(s): 1978-1981

Reports: Diocese and LE: 2003

Status: Removed, 2003

Description: Sexual abuse

Parish assignments: South Sioux City, St. Michael; Omaha, St. Leo; Petersburg, St. John the Baptist; Raeville, St. Bonaventure; Wisner, St. Joseph; West Point, Central High School; Aloys, St. Aloysius.

 

Glossary

Affiliation: The diocese or religious community to which a cleric belongs

Description: Type of behavior
 
Extern: A priest of a religious order or a diocese other than the Archdiocese of Omaha
 
Laicized: Permanently removed from the clerical state by the authority of the Holy See
 
LE: Law enforcement
 
Minor: Person under 19 years of age
 
Posthumous: A claim received after the death of the alleged perpetrator
 
Removed: Faculties for public ministry were withdrawn
 
Report: A communication of a claim to archdiocesan officials and/or law enforcement
 
Sexual Abuse: Unwanted sexual contact, including any of the following: touching over and/or under clothing, penetration, sexual communication
 
Status: Eventual outcome of ministry
 
Substantiated: A claim supported by sufficient evidence and/or information so that the Archdiocese believes it is true

 

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