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Disclosures Regarding Clergy Sexual Abuse of Minors
In 2002, the National Review Board commissioned the John Jay College of Criminal Justice to conduct a blind study to determine the nature and scope of child sexual abuse within the Roman Catholic Church in the United States. Each diocese in the United States was contacted by John Jay College and was required to report the number of priests within its diocese who had “credible” accusations of abuse.
The study required the report of any accusation that was not implausible (see definition below). This included allegations that did not necessarily result in a criminal, civil or diocesan investigation and allegations that were unsubstantiated.
The national study defined an implausible allegation as one that could not possibly have happened under the given circumstances (e.g., an accusation is made to a bishop about a priest who never served at that diocese). The study went on to say that erroneous information does not necessarily make the allegation implausible (e.g., a priest arrived at the diocese a year after the alleged abuse, but all other facts of the case are credible and the alleged victim might have mistaken the date). Allegations that were determined not to be “implausible” have since been referred to as “credible” accusations.
The methodology of the study encouraged over-reporting and the study specifically directed each diocese not to engage in the endeavor of weighing the credibility of any of the accusations out of concern that the data produced by the study would arguably be invalid because of subjective determinations as to the credibility of, or substantiation of, the allegation(s).
The national study concluded that approximately 4% of priests in ministry had accusations of abuse made against them. The study also found that the annual number of incidents of sexual abuse of minors by priests increased steadily to a peak in the late 1970s and early 1980s and then declined sharply after 1985.
The Ramsey County District Court has ordered that the Diocese of Winona publicly release the names associated with the John Jay College Study, as well any other priests who have had accusations of child sexual abuse since 2004. In compliance with that Order, the Diocese of Winona hereby releases the following names, ages, places of ministry, ministerial status and current location of each priest associated with the John Jay Study, as well as the same information of those who have been accused of perpetrating sexual abuse against a minor since 2002.
In the interest of accountability, the Diocese of Winona maintains an updated list of names of men who have substantiated claims against them of sexually abusing a minor while they were assigned as priests in our diocese. The initial disclosure list was posted in December 2013. One additional name was posted October 23, 2014 and the alleged abuse occured outside the diocese.
Thirteen John Jay Study Priests
(Click each name to access the detailed priest summary)
Priests Accused of Abuse After 2004
Priests Names Added After Initial Listing
October 23, 2014
- James Nickel (Alleged abuse outside of the diocese) Deceased 2008
April 10, 2015
September 26, 2019