Tag: Denver

What Do You Need to Know About the Archdiocese of Denver’s IRRP and Claims Packet? 

Denver Cathedral Horowitz Law

The three Catholic dioceses of Colorado, including the Archdiocese of Denver, have started a voluntary compensation for survivors of clergy sexual abuse.   

The program, sometimes called the Independent Reconciliation and Reparations Program (IRRP) or something similar, is being administered by Washington D.C.-based attorney Ken Feinberg and his business manager, Camille Biros.  The two have administered similar diocesan settlement funds nationwide over the past two years. The Colorado fund is expected to launch in October 2019, according to our information. 

Our attorneys have handled hundreds of claims in similar funds nationally since the creation of the first such fund for victims in the Archdiocese of New York.  

In the thousands of hours that we have spent working on the claims, we have noticed that our clients, all of whom are survivors of childhood sexual abuse, often ask us similar questions about the independent compensation programs.  We have included some of those questions – and the answers – for you now. 

For more information on the Diocese of Colorado Springs’ program, click here.

For more information on the Diocese of Pueblo’s program, click here.

Question 1:  What is the Independent Reconciliation and Reparations Program (IRRP)?

The Independent Reconciliation and Reparations Program (IRRP) is a program created by the three Colorado Catholic dioceses: the Archdiocese of Denver, Diocese of Colorado Springs, and Diocese of Pueblo.  It is funded by the dioceses and, in most cases, their insurance companies.  

It is a voluntary program that allows survivors of childhood sexual abuse by clergymembers to participate in a simpler, more streamlined process of resolving their cases than traditional litigation (filing a lawsuit in court).  In often results in compensation being paid to survivors in a period of a few months.   

Question:  Who can file a claim in the Colorado IRRP? 

The program is open to anyone who was sexually abused by diocesan clergy (like a priest or a deacon) while the victim was under the age of 18.  The IRRP is not currently open to anyone sexually abused by members of a religious order or anyone who was a lay employee of the Archdiocese of Denver.  If you are not sure if the assailant was a diocesan priest or a member of a religious order (e.g., Jesuits, Franciscans, Salesians, any type of nun), we have various ways of obtaining that information. 

Even if your abuser was a member of a religious order, or if he/she was a lay employee of the diocese, like a teacher, we encourage you to call us today about your options.  In some cases, the programs have expanded into a new phase for those kinds of claims after the initial wave of cases are resolved.

Question:  I received the lengthy claims packet in the mail – what do I do now?  

If you have received a packet, we strongly encourage you to consult with an attorney before you attempt to submit the packet yourself.  The questions can seem daunting and confusing. An experienced attorney can mean the difference between a very small offer from the fund and a much bigger one.  People who file claims are not typically interviewed by the IRRP administrators so the claims packet is the one chance survivors have to tell their entire story from start to the present, and even the future, particularly if therapy or counseling will be needed in the future.  

Our attorneys have spent thousands of hours preparing compensation program claims packets for funds across the country.  We have a unique understanding of how to assemble supporting documents and present your case in a manner that gives the claims administrators the best and most complete information necessary to evaluate your claim.  

Question: What is a “claims packet?”

The claims packet is a 6 to 10 page form generated by Mr. Feinberg’s office.  The length – and the questions asked – vary by diocese. Typically the packet asks for some basic information about you and your background.  Of course, it also requests information about your sexual abuse experience and how it has affected you. It is these two areas that are the most important to the IRRP administrators, for various reasons – and that is exactly why you should consult with an attorney before you try to do anything on your own.  

Question: I didn’t get a claims packet in the mail but I think I am eligible for the IRRP.  What should I do?

The IRRP does have an open registration period during which anyone who thinks they are eligible to participate in the IRRP can request to do so.  During this very strict – and brief – registration period, the IRRP administrators will communicate with the Archdiocese of Denver to verify some preliminary information regarding the priest’s status with the Diocese and his assignment at the time of the abuse.  This is generally a routine review of basic facts that results in a claims packet being sent to our office.

All claims must be registered with the IRRP by November 30, 2019, so it is critical that you contact us soon to discuss your options.   

Question:  I told another priest about my sexual abuse 25 years ago. I will get a claims packet from the IRRP eventually, right? 

The claims packets were sent to people that the dioceses each define as “people who made a prior report.”  This is a very particular term of art that is very strictly defined by the Archdiocese of Denver and its attorneys.  Not every report is a “report” under the rules that the Diocese and its partner dioceses wrote for the IRRP. For example, a verbal report to a parish pastor 20 years ago is not a “prior report” in the IRRP. 

In our experience, the lists of prior reports provided by each diocese are woefully incomplete.  Unless your claim was investigated by the Diocese’s internal review board, which typically takes several months and involves you giving a sworn, written statement, it is safe to assume that your name may not be on the list provided by the Archdiocese of Denver.

Therefore, even if you think you made a prior report of abuse, we urge you to contact us immediately to make sure that your claim is registered in a timely manner and that a claims packet is generated for you.  If you do not act before the registration deadline (once it has been set), you may lose your chance to participate in the settlement fund forever.  

Question: Will anyone find out that I filed an IRRP claim?  

The program is confidential in the sense that neither the fund administrators nor the dioceses will disclose any information publicly about those who participate in the program or their sexual abuse experiences.  The amounts paid to survivors are never made public, except as a total amount of settlements paid to the group as a whole.  

IRRP Claimants, on the other hand, are not required to maintain such confidentiality and can share their involvement with as many – or as few – people as they would like.      

Question: Should I contact the Archdiocese of Denver myself to get the IRRP process moving?  

Attorneys and advocates alike all strongly discourage survivors from contacting anyone at the Archdiocese of Denver themselves, particularly if they have not spoken with an experienced lawyer yet.  The Archdiocese has highly trained staff and experienced lawyers to defend itself. Even the nicest person working at the Archdiocese is still being paid by the Archdiocese and working for the benefit of the Archdiocese.  You should have just as much experience and tenacity working on your behalf too. 

If you elect to retain our law firm, we will handle all of the communications with the IRRP administrators, with the Archdiocese and its attorneys, and, to the extent it is required, with law enforcement.  You will not have to tell your story over and over again to strangers. Your contact will be almost exclusively with the attorney handling your case. This is a road that we know well and we know how to protect you and your interests.    

Question:  Is the IRRP a class action settlement fund?  

The IRRP is not a class action settlement fund – each claim will be evaluated individual and each claimant will receive an individual response from the administrators. Each claim is on its own timetable to a certain extent.  Settlement amounts in these funds vary widely, depending on various factors like the severity of the sexual abuse and its effects on the survivors. That is why having an experienced attorney is critical – we know what information is going to be important to Mr. Feinberg and his team.   

Question: If I file an IRRP claims packet, does that mean I can never sue the Diocese?  

No.  You do not waive any legal options by merely filing a claim with the IRRP.  

In some cases, you may have options beyond filing a claim – you may be able to file a lawsuit in court against the Archdiocese.  For the overwhelming number of claimants, the statute of limitations has long expired and, as of today, the IRRP is the only option for them to get some sense of acknowledgement and accountability by the Archdiocese of Denver.  

However, laws are being enacted in many states that change the statute of limitations for lawsuits involving child sexual abuse.  In some cases, the laws have created “windows” during which anyone who was sexually abused can file a lawsuit – even if their statute of limitations has already passed. It is unclear if Colorado lawmakers will take the same steps.  Therefore, it is very important that you have an experienced attorney guide you through the process so that you can make the best decisions for you and your family if and when you receive an offer to settle from Mr. Feinberg.  

CONTACT US TODAY.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Archdiocese of Denver and throughout Colorado.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Colorado, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Archdiocese of Denver now have legal options to recover damages due to a compensation fund created for victims.  There may also be a major change in the statute of limitations that will open a window for survivors to file lawsuits regardless of how long ago the abuse occurred.  

Call us at (888) 283-9922 or send an email to adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

 

Fr. Harold Robert White – Archdiocese of Denver

Father Harold Robert White

Archdiocese of Denver

Harold Robert White Archdiocese of Denver Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1960

Removed from ministry: 1993

Laicized: 2004

Death: 2006

Assigned as follows:

  • 1960-1963: St. Catherine’s (Denver, CO)
  • 1963-1965: St. Mary’s (Colorado Springs, CO)
  • 1965-1968: St. Anthony’s (Sterling, CO)
  • 1968-1970: St. John the Evangelist (Loveland, CO)
  • 1970-1978: St. Patrick’s (Minturn, CO)
  • 1970-1978: St. Mary’s (Eagle, CO)
  • 1970-1978: Our Lady of Mt. Carmel (Red Cliff, CO)
  • 1970-1978: The Interfaith Chapel (Vail, CO)
  • 1978-1981: St. Mary’s (Aspen, CO)
  • 1981-1983: Church of the Good Shepherd (Denver, CO)
  • 1983-1986: SS. Peter and Paul (Wheat Ridge, CO)
  • 1986-1989: St. Anne’s (Grand Lake, CO)
  • 1987-1989: Our Lady of the Snow (Granby, CO)
  • 1987-1989: St. Bernard (Fraser-Winter Park, CO)
  • 1989-1990: Holy Names (Steamboat Springs, CO)
  • 1990-1993: St. Patrick’s (Minturn, CO)
  • 1990-1993: Our Lady of Mt. Carmel (Red Cliff, CO)
  • 1990-1993: The Interfaith Chapel (Vail, CO)
  • 1990-1993: Avon Catholic Community (Beaver Creek, CO)
  • 1990-1992: St. Mary’s (Eagle, CO)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Harold Robert White:

Father Harold Robert White was ordained a priest in 1960, and served in multiple parishes in the Archdiocese of Denver. According to media reports, Father Harold Robert White is accused in more than 60 cases of sex abuse against children between 1960 and 1981. He is accused of abusing both boys and girls.

Records also show how hard the Archdiocese of Denver worked to keep the allegations of abuse out of the public, by moving him from parish to parish.  According to reports, Archdiocese of Denver officials knew in the 1960s of White’s “boy troubles,” and at least some officials believed even then that such men “carried the affliction with them to the grave.”

Documents show that Archdiocesan officials knew of an allegation against White as early as 1960. Church documents show that White was accused of sexually abusing 30 children between 1960 and 1981. At least one man has reported that White abused him in 1959 or 1960 before White was ordained.

The Archdiocese never reported White’s suspected abuses to law enforcement. Instead, whenever growing numbers of people became aware of White’s problems in one parish or city, Archdiocese of Denver officials determined, according to file correspondence, that it was time to transfer White to another parish. White worked in 10 different parishes over two decades.

In addition to parishioners, White’s godson reported that he was molested as a child at White’s family cabin in Grand Lake beginning in about 1963.

In the 1960s, Rev. James Kane reported a complaint of sexual abuse against White to the Archbishop, while White was at St. Anthony’s in Sterling, Colorado.

In 2005, another woman accused White of having sexually abused her as a girl from 1955-1968 at St. Anthony’s.

At least one man has accused White of sexually assaulting him when he was a boy at St. John the Evangelist in the late 1960s and another victim accused White of having sexually abused him at St. Patrick’s in the early 1970s.

In 1981, White was accused of having sexually abused at least one boy while at St. Mary’s in Aspen, Colorado. The boy told his parents, who contacted the Archdiocese, and White was “gone within the week.”

White has been named in 2/3 of the lawsuits settled by the Archdiocese of Denver since 2002.

In October 2019, the Colorado Attorney General released a detailed report of a special investigation into the handling of child sexual abuse allegations by Colorado’s three Catholic dioceses.  They identified a staggering 63 documented reports of sexual abuse involving White, which accounted for nearly 40% of all of the victims identified in the entire state of Colorado.

White was laicized in 2004 and died in Cancun, Mexico in 2006.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Archdiocese of Denver in Colorado.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Colorado, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Archdiocese of Denver now have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us.  Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in Colorado and nationwide. We can help.

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

Fr. Melvin F. Thompson – Archdiocese of Denver

Father Melvin Thompson

Archdiocese of Denver

Melvin Thompson Archdiocese of Denver Horowitz Law
Ordained: 1967

Removed from ministry: 2010

Reinstated: 2011

Retired: 2011

Death: 2016

Assigned as follows:

  • Our Lady of Fatima (Lakewood, CO)
  • St. Vincent De Paul (Denver, CO)
  • Immaculate Heart of Mary (Northglenn, CO)
  • Good Shepherd (formerly St. John the Evangelist) (Denver, CO)
  • St. Rose of Lima (Denver, CO)
  • Christ the King (Evergreen, CO)
  • St. Thomas More (Denver, CO)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Melvin Thompson:

Father Melvin Thompson was ordained a priest in 1967, and served in multiple parishes in the Archdiocese of Denver. According to media reports, in 2010, the Archdiocese of Denver received an accusation of abuse involving Father Melvin F. Thompson.  The male victim told the Archdiocese of Denver that Thompson sexually abused him in the 1970s.  Upon learning of the allegation, the Archdiocese removed Thompson from ministry immediately.

A month after the first allegation, another man came forward and told the Archdiocese of Denver of “inappropriate sexual behavior” by Thompson in the early 1990s when he was 20.

Thompson was sent for treatment for “alcohol abuse.”   After an internal investigation, the Archdiocese’s review board found that the allegations were not supported by enough evidence and recommended that Thompson be returned to ministry.

The Archdiocese of Denver reinstated Thompson in 2011, but the priest requested that he be allowed to retire rather than continue in active ministry.

Thompson passed away in 2016 in Denver, Colorado.  He remained a priest in good standing at the time of his death.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Archdiocese of Denver in Colorado.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Colorado, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Archdiocese of Denver now have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us.  Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in Colorado and nationwide. We can help.

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

Fr. John Francis Stein – Archdiocese of Denver

Father John Francis Stein

Archdiocese of Denver

John Francis Stein Archdiocese of Denver Horowitz Law
Ordained: Unknown

Laicized: Unknown

Died: 2001

Assigned as follows:

  • 1944-1945: St. Vincent de Paul (Denver, CO)
  • 1950:           Absent on Sick Leave
  • 1946:           Unknown
  • 1951-1952: St. John the Evangelist (Loveland, CO)
  • 1947:           Absent on Sick Leave
  • 1953-1958: St. Catherine of Siena’s (Iliff, CO)
  • 1948:           Unknown
  • 1959-2000: Unknown
  • 1949:           Sacred Heart (Cheyenne Wells, CO)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father John Francis Stein:

Father John Francis Stein served in multiple parishes in the Archdiocese of Denver. According to media reports, one man says Father John Francis Stein sexually abused him hundreds of times over a 3-year period in the 1950s at St. Catherine of Siena parish in the plains town of Iliff. The victim says that the abuse began in 1953 when he was only 10 years old.

Stein took the victim and others on many overnight trips and told the boy “what a really special kid” he was. The priest gave the 10-year-old victim alcohol and cigarettes and let him drive the priest’s new car. The abuse began with back rubs and turned to molestation over time.

When the victim initially complained to the Archdiocese of Denver in 1991, he was initially told there were no records of a Father Stein. When he persisted, they eventually said that he had been laicized and could not do anything to help the victim.

After 5 years of back and forth with the church, the victim eventually settled a claim in 1996 with a very strict confidentiality agreement.

In the spring of 1956, it was rumored that Father Stein got caught trying to lure a junior-high girl into his car. The police took him to the station not knowing they were taking a priest in for questioning, because he did not have on the black suit and Roman collar. After questioning Father Stein and realizing they had the priest from Iliff, the police called Father Kane, the pastor at St. Anthony’s in Sterling, the parish a few blocks away from the police station. Father Kane reportedly went to the station, collected Stein, and the matter was squashed.

In October 2018, the Colorado Attorney General released a detailed report of a special investigation into the handling of child sexual abuse allegations by Colorado’s three Catholic dioceses.  They identified three documented complaints of abuse in Stein’s personnel file.  Stein was actually criminally prosecuted for his abuse of two of the men.  All three victims knew Stein from St. Catherine of Siena.

Stein died in Colorado in 2001.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Archdiocese of Denver in Colorado. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Colorado, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Archdiocese of Denver now have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in Colorado and nationwide. We can help.

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today

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Msgr. Lawrence St. Peter – Archdiocese of Denver

Monsignor Lawrence St. Peter

Archdiocese of Denver

Lawrence H. St. Peter Archdiocese of Denver Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1959

Absent on leave: 1993

Died: 2003

Assigned as follows:

  • 1959-1970: St. John the Evangelist (Denver, CO)
  • 1966-1972: Archdiocesan Schools (Denver, CO)
  • 1970-1972: Mother of God (Denver, CO)
  • 1972-1982: Holy Family (Denver, CO)
  • 1978-1980: East Denver Deanery (Denver, CO)
  • 1982-1985: Immaculate Heart of Mary, Northglenn, CO
  • 1982-1988: Vicar for Priests (Denver, CO)
  • 1985-1989: Mother of God (Denver, CO)
  • 1986-1988: Presbyteral Council (Denver, CO)
  • 1986-1993: Building Commission (Denver, CO)
  • 1989-1993: Church of the Risen Christ (Denver, CO)
  • 1989-1993: Southeast Denver Deanery (Denver, CO)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Msgr. Lawrence St. Peter:

Msgr. Lawrence St. Peter was ordained a priest in 1959, and served in multiple parishes in the Archdiocese of Denver. According to media reports, in 2008, he was identified as a priest accused of sexual abuse in a global settlement involving 18 victims of sexual abuse by three priests.  No details relating to the allegation were made public, as the settlement was made pre-suit.

In October 2019, the Colorado Attorney General released a detailed report of a special investigation into the handling of child sexual abuse allegations by Colorado’s three Catholic dioceses.  For the first time, the details of multiple documented allegations of sexual abuse against Msgr. St. Peter were made public.

Notably, St. Peter held high-ranking positions in the Archdiocese of Denver Chancery in the 1980s, including one that gave him direct access to his own personnel file.  According to documents reviewed by the AG investigators, Archdiocese officials confirmed in 2013 that St. Peter “sanitized” his own file.  While investigators could find no one with direct knowledge of the document destruction, the circumstantial evidence was overwhelming.  For example, one former Vicar for Clergy recalled telling an Archbishop and 2 auxiliary bishops that St. Peter was sent for psychological treatment twice after allegations of abuse in the 1970s, but no documents were found in his personnel file regarding the allegations or treatment.  In the 1990s, another Vicar for Clergy reconstructed the allegations as best as he could, talking with multiple former Chancery officials and priests who recalled discussing allegations of abuse against St. Peter throughout the 1970s and 1980s.

Investigators concluded that “St. Peter’s sexual misconduct with children was an open secret within the Denver Archdiocese at least as of the early 1970s.”  One priest said he personally knew of “seven or eight high school boys and young men [who] told me that they had been approached sexually or fondled by Fr. St. Peter.”  He personally reported abuse allegations to the Archdiocese in the 1970s.  A former rector at St. Thomas Seminary also received firsthand reports from at least two seminarians that St. Peter had raped one of them in the Spring of 1970.

In total, the AG investigators reviewed the allegations of three men who said they were abused as young boys by Msgr. St. Peter.

Victim #1 was a student and altar boy at St. John the Evangelist (now called Good Shepherd) in Denver when he was sexually abused.  Over the course of five years, starting when he was 12 years old, the man says he was abused throughout the Archdiocese, and often involved St. Peter getting him drunk.

Victim #2 was in high school when he was first abused by St. Peter in 1975.  At the time, St. Peter was assigned to Holy Family in Denver.  The boy reported the abuse to the Denver Archdiocese immediately, along with a high school teacher and parish priest.  Others reported it to at least two Auxiliary Bishops on the boy’s behalf as well. Additional reports were made by those with knowledge of the abuse in the decades that followed.

Victim #3 was sexually abused by St. Peter dozens of times, starting in 1978 when he was 15.  The abuse occurred mainly in St. Peter’s rectory room at Holy Family.  At the time, St. Peter was also president of Holy Family High School.

From what Denver Archdiocese could reconstruct in the 1990s, Msgr. St. Peter was sent for treatment and counseling at least three times, including a six month inpatient stay at St. Luke Institute, a notorious treatment facility for pedophile priests in Maryland.  Parishioners were told that the priest was an alcoholic and did not inform anyone about the numerous sexual abuse allegations against him.

St. Peter died in 2003 in Denver, Colorado.  He was never laicized by the Vatican and remained a priest on “medical disability” at the time of his death.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Archdiocese of Denver in Colorado. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Colorado, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Archdiocese of Denver now have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in Colorado and nationwide. We can help.

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today

Fr. Maurice McInerney – Archdiocese of Denver

Father Maurice McInerney

Archdiocese of Denver

Maurice McInerney Archdiocese of Denver Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1959

Absent on leave: 1993, 1995, 2002

Died: 2009

Assigned as follows:

  • St. Peter’s Church (Greeley, CO)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Maurice McInerney:

Father Maurice McInerney was ordained a priest in 1959, and served in the Archdiocese of Denver. According to media reports, he was charged with sexually abusing a female incest survivor that he was counseling. Upon learning of the accusation, the Archdiocese of Denver relieved McInerney of his duties. No further information is available regarding any other actions taken.

In 1992, a second woman complained that McInerney made sexual innuendos toward her. He was placed on leave again due to allegations of sexual misconduct.. He is shown as “absent on leave” in 1993, 1995 and 2002 Catholic Directories.

McInerney died in 2009 in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Archdiocese of Denver in Colorado.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Colorado, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Archdiocese of Denver now have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us.  Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in Colorado and nationwide. We can help.

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

Fr. Mark N. Matson – Archdiocese of Denver

Father Mark N. Matson

Archdiocese of Denver (Theatines Order)

Mark N. Matson Archdiocese of Denver Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1976

Assigned as follows:

  • 1977-1983: St. Andrew Seminary (Denver, CO)
  • 1984:           St. Patrick Church (Holyoke, CO)
  • 1985-1991: Provincial House at St. Andrew Seminary (Denver, CO)
  • 1992-1996: Unknown
  • 1997:           Provincial House at St. Andrew Seminary (Denver, CO)
  • 1998:           Army Medical Center Chaplain (Honolulu, HI)
  • 1999-2019: Unknown

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Mark Matson:

Father Mark Matson was ordained a priest of the Theatine order in 1976, and served in multiple parishes in the Archdiocese of Denver. According to media reports, it took several allegations from several victims in several states before Father Mark Matson was convicted and jailed for sexual abuse. Matson was accused of abuse of two victims in Colorado in 1987 and acquitted of abuse of an additional victim in 1989 in California.

He was finally convicted in 2000 in Hawaii for the 1998 sexual assault of a 13-year-old boy and was sentenced to 20 years. Following his conviction, additional victims from the Archdiocese of Denver came forward to allege abuse are the hands of Matson.

One man came forward to state that Matson began abusing him when he was 13-years-old at his sister’s wedding in 1983. The abuse allegedly continued for several months after the initial event.

Another man filed a lawsuit against the order claiming Matson molested him repeatedly while he attended a seminary in Denver in 1976.

The man met Matson on a visit to St. Andrew’s Seminary as a prospective student in 1976. He stayed in the student dorms and Matson fondled him during the night, according to the suit.

When the boy later enrolled at St. Andrew’s as a ninth grader, Matson continued to abuse the boy throughout the school year. Eventually, Matson raped the victim while he was unconscious.

When the student tried to confront Matson about the incident, Matson expelled him, claiming to have found marijuana in the victim’s personal belongings.

Matson was released on parole in 2013 and is currently a registered sex offender living in Hawaii.

In December 2019, Matson was named in a lawsuit alleging that he sexual abused a minor boy in the 1990s. The boy attended religious education classes after mass. On at least six occasions, Fr. Matson abused him both in the chapel and other rooms at Tripler Army Medical Center, where the boy’s father was stationed. The priest reportedly performed oral sex on the child while masturbating, sodomized him, and forcing him to touch his penis and perform oral sex on him. Fr. Matson threatened that the boy would go to hell if he told anyone, and also told him that the abuse was normal and that if his knew about it, they would approve.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Archdiocese of Denver in Colorado. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Colorado, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Archdiocese of Denver now have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in Colorado and nationwide. We can help.

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today

Fr. Neil Hewitt – Archdiocese of Denver

Father Neil Hewitt

Archdiocese of Denver

Neil Hewitt Archdiocese of Denver Horowitz LawNeil Hewitt Archdiocese of Denver Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1962

Left priesthood: 1980

Laicized: 2018

Assigned as follows:

  • St. Anne (Grand Lake, CO)
  • St. Anthony (Sterling, CO)
  • St. Therese (Aurora, CO)
  • Church of the Annunciation (Leadville, CO)
  • St. Ignatius (Rangely, CO)
  • Chaplain, Stapleton International Airport

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Neil Hewitt:

Father Neil Hewitt was ordained a priest in 1962, and served in multiple parishes in the Archdiocese of Denver. According to media reports, up to nine victims of abuse by Father Neil Hewitt have come forward to allege abuse across several different dioceses in Colorado, including the Archdiocese of Denver.  In a May 2019 media interview, the Archdiocese of Denver said it has only received two formal reports, both of which allege that Hewitt abused teen boys in the 1960s.

When confronted by one of his alleged victims and a news reporter in May 2019, Hewitt confirmed he remembered the victim and said, “I did do things that were wrong…I realize that.”  He also admitted to molesting a second man who took his own life but outlined the details of his abuse in his suicide note.  His cousin first reported the abuse to the Archdiocese of Denver in 2002.

In 1979, Hewitt was appointed chaplain at Stapleton International Airport.  In reality, he was preparing to leave the priesthood and marry, and the Official Catholic Directory showed him “on leave of absence.”  In May 1980, he got married.

Hewitt is now believed to be residing in Tucson, Arizona.  He is 83 years old.

In October 2019, the Colorado Attorney General released a detailed report of a special investigation into the handling of sexual abuse allegations by Colorado’s three Catholic dioceses.  Not surprisingly, Hewitt was among the priests identified as having multiple documented allegations of sexual abuse in their personnel files.  According the Report, Hewitt abused “a minimum of 8 children in 4 different parishes,” beginning in the mid-1960s.  “As a serial sexual predator, Hewitt used alcohol and pornography to groom his victims,” targeting “boys in their early teens.”  The first documented reported of abuse in the Archdiocese of Denver’s files appears in 1992.  When confronted by the AG’s investigators, Hewitt admitted to 7 of the 8 allegations, 4 of which were discovered during the course of the AG’s investigation.

The Report confirms that Hewitt was finally laicized (removed from the priesthood) by the Vatican in 2018.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Archdiocese of Denver in Colorado. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Colorado, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Archdiocese of Denver now have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in Colorado and nationwide. We can help.

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today

Fr. Timothy J. Evans – Archdiocese of Denver

Father Timothy Evans

Archdiocese of Denver

Timothy Evans Archdiocese of Denver Horowitz LawTimothy Evans Archdiocese of Denver Horowitz Law

 

 

 

 

 

Ordained: 1993

Removed: 2003

Assigned as follows:

  • 1994-1996: Spirit of Christ Parish (Arvada, CO)
  • 1999-2003: St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church (Fort Collins, CO)
  • 1997-1998: Our Lady of Fatima Church (Lakewood, CO)
  • 2004-2021: Unknown

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Timothy Evans:

Father Timothy Evans was ordained a priest in 1993, and served in multiple parishes in the Archdiocese of Denver. According to media reports, in March 2007, he was found guilty of two counts of sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust and one count of sexual assault on a child with a pattern of abuse while assigned within the Archdiocese of Denver. The following month, he was was found guilty of sexual assault on a child by someone in a position of trust involving another child.

The first victim, a 16-year-old boy, was assaulted a decade earlier while Evans was serving at Spirit of Christ Catholic Community in Arvada. The second victim, a 17-year-old boy, was molested twice in 1999 while at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton parish in Fort Collins.

According to media reports, Evans called the Fort Collins victim and offered to give him money or “anything else he wanted” in return for making “it all go away.”

A third alleged victim came forward around this time as well.  He worked at the Fort Collins parish between 1997 and 2000. The young man (an adult) turned to Evans for counseling about his marriage and Evans suggested he lay down on the floor and relax, where he sexually fondled him. Several days later, the man confronted Evans and Evans got defensive and angry.

For his crimes against the underage victims, judges sentenced Evans to 14 years to life. He is currently in state prison and could be up for parole in 2021.

In October 2019, the Colorado Attorney General’s Office released a report of a special investigation into Colorado’s three Catholic dioceses.  According to the Report, Evans was laicized (removed from the clerical state) by the Vatican in 2013.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Archdiocese of Denver in Colorado.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Colorado, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Archdiocese of Denver now have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us.  Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in Colorado and nationwide. We can help.

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

Fr. Kent Drotar – Archdiocese of Denver

Father Kent Drota

Archdiocese of Denver

Kent Drota Archdiocese of Denver Horowitz Law

Ordained: Unknown

Removed: 2007

Reinstated: 2007

Assigned as follows:

  • Notre Dame Catholic Church (Denver, CO)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Kent Drotar:

Fr. Kent Drotar served in multiple parishes in the Archdiocese of Denver. According to media reports, in 2007, allegations were made to St. John Vianney Seminary in the Archdiocese of Denver that he had repeatedly engaged in inappropriate sexual contact with a seminarian beginning when the victim was 18. Drotar first sexually assaulted the victim on a seminary trip during which the two shared a hotel room in 2000. The victim said Drotar continued to pursue him for several more years as he worked through seminary, despite his refusal to engage in any physical relationship with the priest.

When the allegations came to light, the seminary began an investigation into the alleged misconduct and reported the matter to the Archdiocese of Denver. Archbishop Chaput suspended Drotar while the allegations were investigated.

Drotar received a psychological assessment and counseling to determine suitability for future ministry and, based on the positive outcome of his psychosocial evaluation and the recommendation of the Conduct Response Team, Drotar was temporarily assigned to a parish with a grammar school.

After learning that Drotar was assigned to a parish where he could be interacting with youths, the victim immediately contacted the Archdiocese of Denver and said Drotar should be removed from ministry or he would “go to the press.”

After the contact from the victim, the Archdiocese removed Drotar from active ministry.

Drotar is believed to be residing in Brighton, Colorado.  He is in his fifties.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Archdiocese of Denver in Colorado.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Colorado, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Archdiocese of Denver now have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us.  Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in Colorado and nationwide. We can help.

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.