Perhaps the Roman Catholic Church is starting to take some of their child sexual abuse problem seriously. Father Mark Molling of St. Paul Parish in Genesee Depot, Wisconsin has been placed on leave during an investigation started by the Archdiocese of Wisconsin. They are investigating allegations of sexual abuse of a minor back in the mid 1990′s.
According to Archbishop Jerome Listecki, Molling denies the allegations, and they were reported to the Waukesha County district attorney’s office, which has not filed charges. Molling has worked as a resident chaplain at the state juvenile corrections facility Ethan Allen School for Boys in Wales, Wis. John Pilmaier, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests Wisconsin director, stated “The way the diocese made the statement, it’s unclear if the DA declined to prosecute because the statute of limitations ran out or if there were other problems.”
The report of the alleged sexual abuse by Molling was filed with the federal bankruptcy court as part of the Archdiocese’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy claims process. Before the Feb. 1 deadline, 570 claims of sexual abuse by individual victims were filed, and Molling appears to be one of at least 100 unidentified persons accused of committing at least 8,000 instances of sexual abuse against children in the archdiocese, according to SNAP.
Pilmairer stated as well that “We’re concerned that if there are 100 unidentified offenders, who are the other 99? Are they deceased, are they still working with children or families or do they have another career? These are all questions Listecki hasn’t answered yet.”
Archdiocese spokeswoman Julie Wolf stated that Molling’s parishioners were notified of the leave of absence. She also stated “Father Molling denies the allegation, and I must remind everyone that no substantiation of the allegations has occurred. An investigation will move forward using a professional, independent investigator with the investigative report delivered to the Diocesan Review Board.”
The independent investigator is usually a retired law enforcement officer, according to Wolf.