The Latest on a priest who admitted to having sexually abused dozens of Iowa boys in 1986 (all times local):
A Roman Catholic diocese in Iowa is acknowledging that it kept quiet for 32 years about a priest’s admission to having sexually abused dozens of boys.
The Diocese of Sioux City told The Associated Press in a statement Wednesday that it never contacted police or informed the public about the Rev. Jerome Coyle, despite his 1986 admission.
Diocese spokeswoman Susan O’Brien says two alleged adult victims recently came forward with old allegations against Coyle that will be reported to law enforcement.
She says the bishop removed Coyle’s priestly duties in 1986 and sent him to a facility in New Mexico for evaluation and treatment. O’Brien says Coyle never returned to a parish and worked as a civilian in New Mexico.
The diocese recently moved Coyle to a care facility in Fort Dodge that is across the street from a Catholic school. O’Brien says the diocese didn’t tell school officials about Coyle’s past when he was placed there.
A Roman Catholic diocese in Iowa has hidden for decades a priest’s admission that he sexually abused dozens of boys, a silence that may have put other children in danger.
The Associated Press has learned that the Rev. Jerome Coyle, now 85, was stripped of his parish assignments in the 1980s but has never been defrocked or publicly identified by the church as a pedophile, even though the Diocese of Sioux City has been aware of his conduct for 32 years.
He recently moved into a retirement home in Fort Dodge, Iowa, across the street from a parochial school.
He refuses to comment.
A diocese letter obtained by the AP shows that Coyle told the bishop in 1986 that he had victimized 50 youngsters over a 20-year period.
The diocese says it will respond later in the day Wednesday.
Source: The Associated Press