Diocese of Jefferson City releases 33 names accused of sexual abuse

1 week 1 day 1 hour ago Thursday, November 08 2018 Nov 8, 2018 Thursday, November 08, 2018 8:28:00 AM CST November 08, 2018 in News
By: Savannah Rudicel, KOMU 8 Reporter & Monica Harkins and Greta Serrin, KOMU 8 Digital Producers
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JEFFERSON CITY -  The Diocese of Jefferson City released a full list of all religious members credibly accused of sexual misconduct or abuse of a minor.

There are 33 names on the list. Only one religious brother has been criminally convicted.

Bishop W. Shawn McKnight said the diocese is committed to transparency and reducing harm.

"I am ashamed and appalled at how some of my brother bishops and priests have harmed so many," he said.

The list was derived based on procedures set by the U.S. Bishops’ Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.

The latest case of physical sexual abuse was in 1997, according to McKnight. There have been two more cases since then. One being the inappropriate use of social media and the other, internet pornography depicting minors.

"Their actions, and the incomplete transparency we have lived under by not making all their names public, has affected the relationship of every priest, every bishop with the faithful," McKnight said.

This is, "an update to the public on work to bring greater transparency and healing for the Diocese of Jefferson City," according to a news release.

Don Asbee is a mid-Missouri leader of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. He said he isn't convinced the list is proof of systematic change.

"I don't feel that the list is really showing us how long it's been, how long this information has been under wraps, and it should have been released immediately," Asbee said.

Asbee said he was abused as young child in Pennsylvania for years. 

"That priest is responsible for you getting into heaven, essentially. That was what was drilled into me as a child, that if you make that man in the black dress mad, you're going to hell," he said.

Asbee said the crimes committed by clergy members have lasting effects.

"This is a big deal. It really is, because the children that are subjected to this invariably struggle later in life," he said.

(Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect the most current information.)

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