Owensboro Catholic Diocese confirms two sex abuse victims have come forward

Updated: Sep. 10, 2018 at 2:33 PM CDT
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Owensboro Catholic Diocese confirms 2 sex abuse victims have come forward

OWENSBORO, KY (WFIE) - The Owensboro Catholic Diocese says two victims have recently come forward with claims of sexual abuse.

We are told one victim says abuse happened sometime between 1944-1947. The other was in 1962.

Bishop Medley says the accusations are against two different priests who are no longer alive.

The Diocese of Owensboro will not confirm their names, but did say the priests had other accusers.

“Both of them (victims) deal with priests who have previously been identified as having harmed people," Bishop Medley said.

Catholics in the area say they are embarrassed of past allegations in the church, but are hopeful for change.

“We come from a good foundation that we are proud of," Mary Ann O’Bryan a Catholic in Owensboro said. "Yes, we are at a place now that we need to look at what we can do for a better future.”

“Sin is real and people do wrong no matter how much training you give them," Bishop Medley said. "The key is can we correct that wrong more readily.”

And the bishop says the healing for victims is what's most important right now.

“My focus is always - if there’s someone out there who has been hurt, the church needs to be a part of the process of healing," Bishop Medley said. " And so if that means the church has to face some humiliation, that’s okay.”

The Diocese is offering counseling to the victims, and they encourage any other possible victims to come forward.

The Owensboro Diocese and the Evansville Diocese released statements last month after allegations came to light in Pennsylvania.

On Sunday, we reported Father Dave Fleck, who works in the Evansville Diocese, is on paid administrative leave during an investigation into allegations against him.

Father Fleck denies the allegations, which claim sexual misconduct decades ago.

Monday, Communications Director Tim Lilley sent us another statement.

He says information has been reported to the Knox County prosecutor.

“After receiving a report of sexual misconduct that allegedly occurred decades ago, the Diocese of Evansville reported the information it received to the Knox County prosecutor and State of Indiana’s Child Protective Services hotline. The diocese also initiated its own internal investigation, which is ongoing. Privacy concerns of an alleged victim and the reputation of our priest – in case such allegations are determined not to be credible – must also be taken into account. As a result, diocesan staff will not comment further at this time. Thank you for your patience.”

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