February 26, 2019

On Monday the Diocese of Sioux City released its long-anticipated list of priests who have faced credible allegations of sexually abusing children dating back to the 1940s.

Of the 28 priests identified, 17 served in Carroll County for part of their time with the diocese. It was common for them to be reassigned multiple times over the course of their careers.

Among those 17, these 13 now are deceased:

Elmore Everette Apt, assistant pastor at Sacred Heart in Templeton from 1954 to 1956.

Alver William Behrens, pastor at Sacred Heart in Templeton from 1966 to 1972, pastor at Our Lady of Mount Carmel from 1987 to 1993.

Richard Wayne Birdsall, pastor of St. Francis of Assisi in Maple River and faculty member of Kuemper Catholic High School from 1969 to 1976.

Paul Joseph Bruening, assistant pastor at St. John Parish in Arcadia and faculty member at Kuemper Catholic High School from 1954 to 1955.

Victor Everett Kollasch, assistant pastor at St. Lawrence in Carroll from 1948 to 1953, pastor of St. Augustine in Halbur from 1968 to 1975.

Bruce Anthony Lefebvre, assistant pastor of Holy Spirit in Carroll from 1973 to 1974, assistant pastor of St. Joseph in Dedham and faculty member of Kuemper Catholic High School, 1974 to 1978.

Bernard Joseph Montag, assistant pastor at Sacred Heart in Templeton from 1932 to 1938, pastor at Holy Angels in Roselle from 1946 to 1951.

Thomas Joseph Munn, pastor at St. Bernard in Breda from 1985 to 1989, chaplain at St. Anthony Regional Hospital from 1999 to 2001.

Ralph William Reinhart, pastor of Sacred Heart in Manning from 1986 to 1997.

Nicholas John Ruba, assistant pastor at Saints Peter and Paul in Carroll from 1951 to 1954.

Laurence Frances Schoeppner, pastor at Holy Family in Lidderdale from 1932 to 1950. Schoeppner allegedly committed his offense against a girl while he was a pastor in Lidderdale and went to another church in Ayrshire — about 70 miles north — not long after.

Donald Joseph Slaven, pastor of St. Joseph in Dedham from 1984 to 1988.

Donald William Wingert, pastor at Holy Angels in Roselle from 1977 to 1979.

The following accused priests served in Carroll County and are still alive:

Jerome Paul Coyle, pastor of Holy Angels in Roselle from 1974 to 1977. Coyle has credible allegations of abuse from 13 boys from 1965 to 1985.

John Patrick Perdue, parochial vicar at St. Lawrence in Carroll from 1985 to 1986.

Ronald Joseph Reicks, pastor of Holy Family in Lidderdale, attending St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Glidden in 1979.

John Charles Yetmar, pastor at St. Bernard in Breda from 1974 to 1980.

Not included in the list the diocese released Monday is Gerald Hartz, now 85 and living in Bakersfield, California, who was charged with indecent contact with a child in September 1995 for groping a 13-year-old girl’s breast at St. Lawrence School, according to court records. The charge was later dropped when the girl declined to participate in Hartz’s prosecution.

The diocese announced early this month that it had recently banned Hartz from performing pastoral duties and intended to include Hartz on its list because it found the allegation credible.

“However, the diocese received notification on Friday that one of the priests has appealed to Rome, and therefore his information is being withheld pending resolution,” Susan O’Brien, a spokeswoman for the diocese, told the Times Herald on Monday. She did not specify who that priest was.

It’s unclear when that appeal might conclude.

“That was dismissed,” Hartz told the Times Herald in a telephone call Monday. “I don’t want to discuss this on the phone.”

The diocese said it has had 515 priests since its inception in 1902. The number of credibly accused priests represents about 5 percent of that total. The incidents of abuse identified by the diocese happened between 1948 and 1995.

The details of those incidents were not released.

My colleagues and I at the diocese categorically condemn all cases of sexual abuse and misconduct,” Bishop R. Walker Nickless, who oversees the diocese, said in a press release. “Sexual abuse is in direct conflict with our mission and the promises we make as priests.”