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Wisconsin Priest Put On Leave After Sexual Abuse Allegations Surface

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.”

According to the Journal Sentinel:

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.

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One Response to Wisconsin Priest Put On Leave After Sexual Abuse Allegations Surface

  1. John Bernadyn

    October 30, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    Source: United Advocacy Group, Inc.

    When Clergy Are Asked To Leave Quietly, There Is No Justice

    (CHICAGO) – Br. John Woulfe, an ex-Marianist brother, has been accused by numerous ex-students at Chaminade College Preparatory School in St. Louis, MO of sexually molesting them. Of course, he wasn’t the only member of this religious community accused of such acts. There were many more. Many, many more.
    In 2002, Michael Powel filed a lawsuit against Chaminade College Preparatory School for a lifetime of suffering and damages (2002. Powel v Chaminade College Preparatory, Inc, Marianist Province of the United States, Archbishop Justin Rigali, William Christensen [aka Fr. William Christensen, S.M.] and John Woulfe [aka Br. John Woulfe, S.M.]). Powel would ultimately win the lawsuit for millions of dollars several years later.
    Br. John Woulfe, after being accused of inappropriate sexual behavior with students in the 1970s left the Society of Mary (aka “Marianists”). Instead of notifying the local police department for prosecution Fr. Robert Osbourne, the school principal, allowed Woulfe to leave ‘quietly’. Unfortunately, this did not stop Woulfe’s desire to prey on the weak and vulnerable.
    Eventually Woulfe would end up in the small town of Onarga, Illinois. In this area, Woulfe would once again continue his predatory sexual behavior on children until he was caught. “John Woulfe was a monster,” recalls Illinois-based author John Bernadyn in his newly released memoir Betrayed By The State: A Ward of the State Speaks Out in which he discusses the experiences he faced with this ex-clergyman. “He was demeaning, pushy, and manipulative.”
    After suspicion took hold of this town, Woulfe moved to the small town of Watseka, Illinois. He landed a position as a guidance counselor in the Kankakee School District – an occupation he knew all too well while serving at Chaminade. In 2002, Woulfe was arrested for predatory sexual behavior with a student. Defiantly, he refused to appear at court hearings.
    Woulfe would eventually find himself in a nursing home after suffering a stroke and ultimately dying in 2005 from the after-effects. “The real tragedy in this case is that all the people he victimized would never get to tell him directly how they felt or if they ever forgave him. I, too, felt robbed of this chance to say I forgave him but would never forget,” said Bernadyn.
    All allegations of sexual abuse are now required to be reported to local justice authorities. “This is a little too late,” whispers Bernadyn.