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Nebraska Catholic Church Priest & Clergy Sex Abuse List

Nebraska Priest Sex Abuse List: A list of Roman Catholic Priests & Clergy members of the Nebraska Diocese accused of sex abuse and/or sexual assault of minors.

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Merson Law has compiled a list of Roman Catholic Priests and Clergy members (the Nebraska priest sex abuse list) accused of sexual abuse and/or sexual assault of minors. The Sexual Assault team at Merson Law specializes in Catholic Clergy and Priest Sex Abuse and Sexual Assault cases.

This information found in this list is compiled from the Database of Publicly Accused Priests and does not state or imply that individuals facing allegations are guilty of a crime or liable for civil claims. The reports contained in the database are merely allegations. The U.S. legal system presumes that a person accused of or charged with a crime is innocent until proven guilty.

Similarly, individuals who may be defendants in civil actions are presumed not to be liable for such claims unless a plaintiff proves otherwise. Admissions of guilt or liability are not typically a part of civil or private settlements.

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Nebraska Priest Sex Abuse List

Merson Law’s Nebraska Priest Sex Abuse List was compiled from accounts of sexual abuse by a member of the Nebraska Catholic Church network. The names in this list are only those that have been found to be credible, however it is likely that there are names missing, due to the sheer number of accounts and the historical aversion to transparency by the Catholic Church.

This list is not endorsed by the Archdiocese, which has yet to release the names of priests found guilty through its own internal investigations.

Last NameFirst NameDioceseNotes
BentonJames F.Lincoln, NEPlaced on leave, then retired 2017. In 8/18 Benton’s 37-year-old nephew stated publicly that the priest sexually abused him as a child during a sleepover at the rectory. Benton denied the allegations. Case reported to the diocese then sent to the Vatican. In 5/18 the Vatican responded that any further action was up to the bishop. Bishop Conley imposed restrictions on Benton’s ministry. The nephew said he knew of another victim, allegedly abused at age 14 when Benton was a seminarian. He said the boy told another priest, who did nothing. Benton was reportedly also accused of the sexual abuse of another child in 2000 and may have been sent away for treatment. In 8/18 Benton was living at a home for retired priests. On diocese’s list 4/2/19.
CopenhaverJohnLincoln, NENamed publicly as accused by the diocese on its list 4/2/19. Retired in 2012. Faculties revoked and public ministry restricted 2012.
CrowleyClarenceLincoln, NENamed publicly as accused by the diocese on its list 4/2/19. Died in 1986.
DeoniseRichardLincoln, NENamed publicly as accused by the diocese on its list 4/2/19. Excommunicated 1994.
DunavanThomasLincoln, NENamed publicly as accused by the diocese on its list 4/2/19. Placed on leave in 2019 pending investigation.
HrdlickaRobert C.Lincoln, NEIn 1993, while serving as Navy chaplain, he was court martialed and sent to prison after pleading guilty to indecent acts with minors in South Carolina and Sicily, Italy. Released from prison and from Navy in 1999. Articles also reported he was removed or dismissed from the priesthood. Sued in 2002 by four brothers in the Lincoln diocese who accused him of abuse in 1978. Laicized 2005. On diocese’s list 4/2/19.
KalinLeonardLincoln, NENamed publicly as accused by the diocese in 8/18. Died in 2008.
MargandPaulLincoln, NEAssistant priest at St.Teresa’s in Lincoln. Accused of molesting at least 3 boys, ages 11 and 12, on separate occasions within 2 years of ordination. Criminal charges filed 7/87 after one of the boys came forward. In 1988 Margand was found guilty. Served approximately 3 years. Released 1/91. Diagnosed in prison as pedophile with “obsessive-compulsive personality disorder with paranoid and schizoid features.” A 4/02 story said he was a graduate student in criminal justice at Temple Univ. in Philadelphia. Said to be using an assumed name. Laicized 2004. On diocese’s list 4/2/19.
MurrayJerome C.Lincoln, NERetired in 1999. Faculties revoked, public ministry restricted 2002-05. Two men filed separate suits in 2003 alleging that Murray abused them in the 1970s. Murray denied all the charges and asked that one of the suits be dismissed on SOL. In 3/04 the diocese settled with one plaintiff. No disclosure as to whether diocese paid anything in settlement. The other case remained open. Died in 2016. On diocese’s list 4/2/19.
PiorkowskiAloysiusLincoln, NEFrom Poland. Named publicly as accused by the Lincoln diocese on its list 4/2/19. Worked in Poland, IL, NE. Left the Lincoln diocese in 1959. Died in 1978.
RedmondSeanLincoln, NENamed publicly as accused by the diocese on its list 4/2/19. Removed from public ministry in 2009. Laicized 2010.
TownsendCharlesLincoln, NENamed publicly as accused by the diocese on its list 4/2/19. Placed on leave in 2018. Accused of misconduct/grooming, including supplying a person under age 21 with alcohol. Pled no contest to criminal charges in 3/19.
AllgaierRobertOmaha, NEReport to police in 10/01 that Allgaier had viewed child porn on his computer. Archbishop knew of allegation in 2001 but reassigned him to a middle school after evaluation. Removed in 2/02 just prior to charges being filed. Pled guilty to attempted possession of child pornography for using computers to view internet photos of children involved in sex acts. Sentenced to two years probation. Left priesthood in 2005. On sex offender registry. On diocese’s list 11/30/18.
ArkfeldRichard M.Omaha, NENamed publicly as accused by the archdiocese on its list 11/30/18. Reports received in the 1980s, 2010, 2014 and 2018 of abuse in the 1980s and prior. Arkfeld died 10/15/96.
BucksonJohn R.Omaha, NENamed publicly as accused by the archdiocese on its list 11/30/18. Reports received in 1994 of sexual abuse prior to 1994. Resigned 2002.
ClearyDonald M.Omaha, NEPermanently removed from ministry in 10/18. Accused of abusing a minor in the mid-1980s in Wayne. On the archdiocese’s list 11/30/18. Per the archdiocese on its list updated 3/1/19, Cleary had multiple allegations against him.
ColbertRichardOmaha, NEAccused in 2003 of abuse of 1 between 1985-1989 at Boys Town. Civil suit filed 10/05 and he was placed on leave by Missouri diocese where he was working. Suit dismissed by Court 5/06 [Some earlier news articles had Richard as 1st name; others had Robert. Richard is correct per 1989 Official Catholic Directory].
DvorakFranklinOmaha, NEDvorak, pastor of St. Elizabeth Ann Parish in Omaha since 2007, was removed 4/12 after allegations he had sexually abused a female student 1970-1972. He was assigned to Sacred Heart/St. Mary’s Parish in Norfolk, NE 1970-1974. Dvorak denied the allegations. Review board found evidence met “credible” standards. No criminal charges due to SOL. In 4/13, Vatican ordered church trial in Omaha. Sentenced 11/22/13 to life of prayer and penance. On archdiocese’s list 11/30/18.
FialaJohn M.Omaha, NEOrdained for Omaha. Joined SOLT Order 1996. Worked in NE, MO, KS, & TX. Privileges removed 10/08 after allegations of abuse in San Antonio archdiocese. A 4/10 TX suit alleged Fiala raped a 16-year-old boy at least twice in 2007-08. In 4/10, Omaha said it knew in 2002 of his advances toward a minor in mid-1980s. Indicted 8/10 in TX. Arrested 9/3/10 in KS; returned to TX. Released on bail. Settlement of lawsuit with San Antonio and Omaha archdioceses, Corpus Christi diocese and Order 01/2011. Arrested in Dallas 11/18/10 for trying to hire hit-man to kill accuser. Convicted in Dallas on solicitation of murder 5/17/12. Sentenced to 60 years prison. Died in 7/17. On Omaha archdiocese’s list 11/30/18. It notes two victims. On Kansas City KS list 1/25/19. On Corpus Christi and San Antonio list s1/31/19.
FinchJosephOmaha, NENamed publicly as accused by the archdiocese on its list 11/30/18. Reports to the archdiocese in 1996 and to Law Enforcement 2002 and 2010 of abuse for several years, beginning in 1971. Finch left Omaha in 1963 for military chaplaincy. Moved in 1969 to Diocese of Phoenix. In 1992 became chaplain to cloistered convent in the Diocese of Albany. He left there in early 2018.
GaughanJames M.Omaha, NENamed publicly as accused by the Omaha archdiocese on its list 11/30/18. Report received in 2003 of abuse, time uncertain. Gaughan left Omaha in 1999 for the Diocese of Mandeville, in Jamaica. He died in 2009.
GillEdward BryanOmaha, NENamed publicly as accused on the archdiocese’s list 11/30/18. It notes reports to the diocese in 2004 of abuse 1962, 1963-64. Retired in 1999, moved to Albion, OK. Gill died 1/7/06.
GlennonThomasOmaha, NENamed publicly as accused by the diocese on its list 11/30/18. Noted to have been an extern priest. Reports in 2018 to the archdiocese of abuse 1980-81. Retired, left NE in 2018.
HenryJosephOmaha, NENamed publicly as accused on the Omaha archdiocese’s list 11/30/18. Sexual abuse in 1961-62 reported to the archdiocese in 2012. Henry was an extern priest. Deceased.
HenryPatrickOmaha, NEPlaced on leave 6/07 after complaint that he sexually abused a minor in the 1970s, prior to ordination. Review board deemed allegation credible. Matter forwarded to the Vatican. Worked at Boy’s Town prior to ordination; at least one man says Henry abused him when he was a Boys Town resident. Henry also worked in the Omaha Diocese 1981-84, in Bolivia 1984-89, again in Omaha 1990-1992, and then in Peru. He transferred to the Diocese of Cleveland in 1994. On Omaha archdiocese’s list 11/30/18. It notes report to Cleveland in 2008 of abuse 1970s-80s. (Says his transfer to Cleveland was 1997, but Catholic Directory shows 1994.) Laicized, per the Cleveland diocese’s list in 6/19.
HerekDaniel P.Omaha, NEPled no contest 1998 to allegations of sexl abuse of a youth. Served 2 1/2 years in jail. Named by eight in subsequent civil suits. A 2002 jury award of $800K to one. Other suits then settled. Convicted of exposing himself in mall parking lot in 9/05. Request for new trial denied. Sentenced 120 days in jail. Verdict appealed. Sent to jail in 7/08. He had requested house arrest. Judge also added four months for probation violation when caught masturbating in public. On archdiocese’s list 11/30/18. It notes multiple reports to diocese and law enforcement, of child porn and sex abuse 1970s through 1990s. Laicized 2006.
HoJoseph HiepvanOmaha, NEExtern priest from the Archdiocese of Sydney. Named publicly as accused on the Omaha archdiocese’s list 11/30/18. Reports to Omaha in 1990 of boundary violations and in 2010 of sex abuse. Left Omaha in 1992. Omaha informed Sydney in 2010. Per list, Ho still active in Sydney. Per list updated 3/1/19, Ho no longer in active ministry as of 12/18.
KellyMichael J.Omaha, NENamed publicly as accused on the archdiocese’s list 11/30/18. Reports to archdiocese in 1998 of abuse1956-1996. Kelly retired in 1995 and was removed in 2002. He died in 2003.
KenneyDaniel J.Omaha, NENamed publicly as accused by the Omaha archdiocese on its list 11/30/18. Report noted to have been received in 2012 of abuse 1985-87. Removed in 2002. Per Omaha list updated 3/1/19, there were multiple victims.
KruseJay L.Omaha, NEKruse was charged in 10/04 with two counts of possession of child pornography. Investigation had been ongoing since at least 8/04. Pornography was found on a computer at St. Wenceslaus parish. Kruse was placed on leave in 8/04 “for personal reasons” from his assignment in O’Neill, NE. That parish did not find out about the reason for his leave until late 9/04. Pled guilty. Sentenced to one year probation. Voluntarily left priesthood in 5/05. On archdiocese’s list 11/30/18. Noted to have been laicized in 2006.
Lukes (Lucas)Duane W.Omaha, NELukes (incorrectly referred to as Lucas) was named in 4/07 civil suit as having abused a boy for several years, beginning in 1978 when the boy was age 12. Luke’s accuser told a priest in 1990 about being abused, but nothing done. He told another priest in OR in 2003; the Portland archdiocese reported the abuse to Omaha. Diocese arranged for counseling but failed to tell the alleged victim of his rights until after the SOL had run. Lukes died in 1998. Second suit filed 1/08. On Omaha archdiocese’s list 11/30/18. It notes reports 1985, 2004 and 2005 of abuse of multiple victims 1964-1990s. Its updated list 3/1/19 notes reports in 2015 and 2019 of abuse.
McMahonAloysius J.Omaha, NENamed publicly as accused by the archdiocese on its list 11/30/18. It notes report to the archdiocese in 1998 of abuse (“disputed”) of two 1970-75. Its list updated 3/1/19 notes a report in 2019 of abuse. McMahon retired in 1997 and died in 2011.
MerkelMark K.Omaha, NENamed publicly as accused by the archdiocese on its list 11/30/18. It notes reports 1999 and 2004 of abuse in 1999. Merkel was removed in 2004 and laicized in 2006.
Morales JordanEmilioOmaha, NEDeacon. Named publicly as accused on the archdiocese’s list 11/30/18. Extern from diocese of Zacapa (Guatemala). Allegation reported 2003 of “misconduct” 2000-02. Left Omaha in 2003.
NigliFrancis A.Omaha, NESent to treatment in 2013 after allegations of inappropriate touching of an 18-year-old male (a minor, per diocese). Returned to ministry. Removed 6/18 after allegation of sexual assault of a a 21-year-old man in 5/18. Not made public until 10/18. On diocese’s list 11/30/18. It notes ” After professional assessment, was not prohibited from ministry.”
PalmeseAnthony D.Omaha, NEAccused of sexual abuse of a boy when at Holy Ghost Parish 1984-1985. Diocese said it was informed of accusation 12/30/13 and informed law enforcement. Assignments included parishes in New York NY, Topeka KS, Omaha NE and Orlando FL. Retired 2009. Died 2/2/12. On Omaha archdiocese’s list 11/30/18.
PeschelRoland A.Omaha, NENamed publicly as accused on the archdiocese’s list 11/30/18. It notes reports received in 1993 and 2010 of abuse in 1967. The 1993 allegation was disputed. Peschel admitted to the allegation received in 2010. Retired and removed in 2010.
PetrusicAnthonyOmaha, NERetired in 1994 from the Omaha archdiocese. Working as part-time priest in FL when he was placed on leave in 2002 after allegation that he had sexually abused a teenage boy in Omaha in the 1970s. His accuser said Petrusic would take nude photos of him when he was showering or changing at a lake cabin and groped him. A second man also made allegations of abuse during the same time period. Placed on permanent leave 8/02. Died 2/10. On Omaha archdiocese’s list 11/30/18.
PickettRobertOmaha, NENamed publicly as accused on the archdiocese’s list 11/30/1. Report to the archdiocese in 2016 of abuse in 1978, prior to his formation as a deacon. Removed in 2016.
PurnellTomOmaha, NEDeacon. Named publicly as accused on the archdiocese’s list 11/30/18. It notes reports in 1991 of abuse of two prior to 1991.
RizzoJohn C.Omaha, NENamed publicly as accused on the archdiocese’s list 11/30/18. Reports to the diocese in 1993, 2002 and 2010 of abuse 1962 and 1972. Two victims. The 1972 allegation was disputed. Rizzo was removed in 2002 and retired in 2003.
SalanitroAlfred J.Omaha, NERemoved from St. Bernadette’s in Bellevue 12/11 after allegation that Salanitro abused a boy 1991-94, beginning when he was 11 and Salanitro was assigned to Holy Cross in Omaha. He denied the allegations and took voluntary leave. Matter was reported to DA’s office and police. Review Board found allegation credible and referred to Vatican. Canonical trial ordered in Omaha. Laicization announced 11/22/13. On archdiocese’s list 11/30/18. It notes reports in 2011 and 2012 of abuse 1990-94. Three victims.
SellentinThomasOmaha, NERemoved 4/02 after allegation. Admitted sexually abusing boys as far back as 30 years. People from two parishes said church authorities knew about abuse for many years. Sellentin was transferred in 1960s after allegations. Matter discussed at meeting with church pastor in 1960s. Transferred again about 1980 after complaints. Allegations of abuse in at least four parishes between 1968 and 1974. Civil suit(s) filed 3/03. On archdiocese’s list 11/30/18. It notes reports 1968-present of abuse 1968-89, and 20-35 victims. Its 3/1/19 updated list notes 20-38 victims.
StarostkaJohn COmaha, NEStarostka retired in 6/02 citing health problems. ‘Administrative dismissal’ announced 8/16/02. ‘Information had been gathered that included an admission of past sexual abuse or misconduct or allegations that were established as credible.’ Died 12/24/12. On the archdiocese’s list 11/30/18. It notes reports received 2001 and 2002 of abuse 1972-74 and 2000.
SteinhausenRobert O.Omaha, NENamed publicly as accused on the archdiocese’s list 11/30/19. It notes report received 2008 of abuse 1982-86. Steinhausen died in 1993. Its 3/1/19 list notes a report also in 2019.
SyringAndrewOmaha, NEResigned in 10/18 after archdiocesan review of clergy. Accused in 2014 of “significant boundary violations” with young adults and minors. He denied the allegations. Sent for evaluation and treatment, returned to ministry. On diocese’s list 11/30/18.
ThomeDuaneOmaha, NEDeacon. Named publicly as accused by the diocese on its list 11/30/18. It notes report received in 2018 of “acts” 2016-18. Removed 6/18.
Toms KulangaraLarryOmaha, NENamed publicly as accused on the Omaha archdiocese’s list 11/30/18. Worked in the archdiocese 1997-2000. Reports in 2000 of the abuse of two minors 1995-2000. Reports to law enforcement in 2004 and 2017. Toms returned to his Order in 2000. Noted to be presumed active in the Pauline’s Nigeria-India Province. Matter referred to Holy See in 2017.
ZylaJeffrey L.Omaha, NENamed publicly as accused on the archdiocese’s list 11/30/18. Report received in 2003 of abuse 1978-81, prior to seminary. Removed 2003. Its list updated 6/1/19 notes another report in 2018

Please note that this Nebraska priest sex abuse list is not an exhaustive and complete list because new information of sexual abuses and sexual assaults by priests and clergy of the Roman Catholic Church becomes available daily.

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