August 13, 2013
Deposition released today of Archbishop John J. Myers
in Illinois sexual abuse case
Family of sexual abuse survivor Andrew Ward speak out about their experiences
at press conference in Newark
Despite reports of sexual abuse, predator priest Msgr. Thomas Maloney
remained in ministry until 2007
(Newark, NJ) – As part of a sexual abuse settlement in the Diocese of Peoria, the previously sealed deposition of Archbishop John J. Myers was released today along with information and documents pertaining to the sexual abuse of a Normal, Illinois altar boy by Msgr. Thomas Maloney at Epiphany Church in 1995-1996.
“This case demonstrates that Archbishop Myers has continuously and repeatedly chosen to protect himself and the Diocese over the children and the families who have been violated,” said Jeff Anderson, the attorney representing sexual abuse survivor Andrew Ward who filed his lawsuit in Peoria, IL in 2008.
Anderson was joined by Andrew’s parents today at a press conference in Newark where he announced the $1.35 million settlement in the sexual abuse case. Anderson stated, “This never should have happened and never would have happened if the top officials had chosen to believe the victims instead of protecting the predators.”
Archbishop Myers worked as Bishop of the Diocese of Peoria from 1990-2001 and in an internal memo dated December 6, 1995 Msgr. James F. Campbell writes that the Diocese received a report from a New York woman who alleged that Msgr. Maloney sexually abused her while working at Epiphany Church in Normal in approximately 1973. She specifically asked the Diocese to confront Maloney and that he be “stopped if he is now engaged in sexual activity with children.” Maloney served at Epiphany from 1973-1976 and again from 1995-2007.
Another report was made to the Diocese of Peoria when parents of an 8th grade boy wrote to Msgr. Steven P. Rohlfs on August, 12, 1999 reporting that Maloney had, during confession, “proceeded to inappropriately discuss with our son the sexual acts of a fellow priest.” The response of the Diocese was that Msgr. Rohlfs would meet with Maloney and tell him to “adjust his confessional practice in light of these allegations.”
Complaints about Maloney’s inappropriate behavior in the confessional were received again in 2000 and Myers responded to the parents and stated in a September 14, 2000 letter, “Father Maloney loves people, especially young people, and that he cares for them generously. We have never had allegations of impropriety.”
Andrew Ward, in a statement released today by his attorneys stated, “I am making this statement because I want people to know my story so that the Diocese and those top people aren’t allowed to continue to lie and blame victims like me. I hope me making this statement and my family going public helps others. I hope more than anything Archbishop Myers and Bishop Jenky don’t continue to get away with this and other kids are not allowed to be hurt the way I was.”
Documents including the redacted depositions of Archbishop Myers, Msgr. Ward and Msgr. Maloney’s file, can be found on our website under the “News” section at www.andersonadvocates.com.
Contact: Jeff Anderson Office/651.227.9990 Cell/612.817.8665