The Sioux City Catholic Diocese has announced it is developing a list of “credibly accused priests” who’ve worked in the northwest Iowa diocese.
The Diocese acknowledged news stories about Jerry Coyle, a priest who worked in parishes in Carroll and Fort Dodge, had been upsetting to many. In a written statement, the bishop asked anyone who had been victimized by a priest in the Diocese “at any time” to report it to the Victims Assistance Coordinator in the Diocese. It also emphasized the allegations surrounding Coyle happened when the church often sent priests to treatment rather than report sex abuse allegations to the police for potential prosecution.
According to the statement, the Sioux City Diocese in 2002 asked county attorneys in northwest Iowa to review allegations priests in the area had sexually abused children. The Diocese statement indicates the county attorneys declined “for various reasons” as many of the accused priests were dead and the statute of limitations had expired so there was no way to criminally prosecute accused priests who were still alive.
(Reporting by Woody Gottburg, KSCJ, Sioux City)