Tennessee Catholic Church Priest & Clergy Sex Abuse List

Tennessee Priest Sex Abuse List: A list of Roman Catholic Priests & Clergy members of the Tennessee 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 Tennessee 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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Tennessee Priest Sex Abuse List

Merson Law’s Tennessee Priest Sex Abuse List was compiled from accounts of sexual abuse by a member of the Tennessee 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 Name First Name Diocese Notes
Dupree Daniel T. Memphis, TN Dupree is named in lawsuit filed 9/06. Suit alleges sexual abuse of one boy (high school freshman), beginning in 1985 and continuing for several years. Suit dismissed by appeals court on SOL 9/08. Complaints have come from other parishes as well. May have been as many as 15 victims. Dupree was “removed from ministry in 1992” and is currently believed to be living in TX, possibly Texarkana.
Duran Juan Carlos Memphis, TN Extern priest from Colombia. Removed from Franciscan Order for child abuse. Became Dominican. Sued 2004. Accused of abuse of 1 boy. Also charged in 2004 of sexually abusing a boy in 1999-2002 in St. Louis and Chicago area starting at age 10. Believed tohave returned to Colombia. Laicized (possibly in 2001). Some reports state he was transferred to St. Louis after abuse in Memphis. Others state that he came from St. Louis. Civil suit settled 2/09 for $2M from diocese & order.
Emala Walter Memphis, TN Diocese of Nashville (later Memphis) knew in at least 1959 of his behavior with boys. In the 1960s parents were told to by diocesan official to keep their boys away from Emala. Given an ultimatum in 1968 to leave TN on an extended leave of absence or retire and leave TN. Emala went on leave and to Baltimore MD. Removed in 1975 from Baltimore assignment after accused of abuse of a child. Multiple individuals alleged sexual abuse by him 1970s-1980s. Name appeared on 9/02 Baltimore list. Died 2/20/08 in Baltimore. Name included on Harrisburg diocese’s list released 8/1/18, noted to have been seen kissing a minor on the lips in the early 1980s.
Guthrie Milton J. Memphis, TN Died 4/02. Named as abuser in 10/08 civil suit against the diocese. Accuser alleged that Guthrie abused him in the 1970s when he was a youth. In 4/09 trial court failed to dismiss based on Diocese’s claim of statute of limitations & Diocese appealed. Appeals court dismissed the suit based on SO 5/10. TN Sup. Court ruled 2/12 that Plaintiff’s claims were not barred by SOL and discovery could continue in lower court.
Kantner William R. Memphis, TN Documents released 4/10 show that in 2002 the Vicar General of the diocese found credible an allegation that Kantner had abused a teenage boy. In 2004 the Bishop wrote a letter of recommendation that allowed Kantner to work on mission trip to Mexico. Kantner denied abusing anyone. Worked in Allentown Diocese 2001 & 2002. 2003 & 2004. Back in Memphis in 2005. Died 2/16/13.
Mickey Richard L. Memphis, TN Sued 2004. Accused of abuse of twin brothers at Bishop Byrne High School in 1980. Removed in 8/04 and then reinstated in early 2005. Mickey remained active priest until 8/06 when he suddenly resigned from all “pastoral or public ministry” according to a diocesan spokesman. Civil suit settlement announced 8/07. Another man came forward to say he and Mickey “were a couple” when the man was in high school and Mickey was a priest. Mickey knew of abuse by Juan Carlos Duran and did nothing.
Murphy James William Memphis, TN Accused of sexually abusing boys with Janssen, Geerts, and Bass during trips to the Davenport IA diocese. Also accused of abusing boys in the Nashville diocese, in places that would become parts of the Memphis and Knoxville dioceses. Also worked in the St. Paul-Minneapolis archdiocese at a retreat center. On Nashville list 11/2/18. It notes he was incardinated into the Memphis diocese in 1971. Murphy died 10/11/16,
Nguyen Joseph aka Edward Memphis, TN Civil suit filed 9/06 alleged Nguyen abused one girl from 1994-1999. A second suit alleged abuse 1997-1999. Nguyen was removed from his assignment as a chaplain at St. Peter Villa, a nursing and rehabilitation center in Memphis, in 9/06 after first suit filed. Third suit filed 11/06 alleged Nguyen abused a girl 1997-1999 after the death of her brother. All 3 suits settled 6/07. Diocese continued investigation while Nguyen remained on leave.
St. Charles Paul Wiley Memphis, TN Incardinated into the Memphis diocese 1971. Diocese’s fIrst Catholic Youth Office Director. Retired in 1986. Allegations made to the Diocese in 2002 about misconduct dating back to the 1970s. Review board found allegations to be “more likely than not” and placed him on leave in 11/04. Named in at least six civil suits filed between 2005 and 2008 regarding events that allegedly took place when St. Charles was assigned to Church of the Ascension or Our Lady of Sorrows. At least 17 known accusers. One suit dismissed 3/09. Three to four settled. Died 12/09. On Nashville diocese’s list 11/2/18.
Cleary Edward James Nashville, TN First named publicly as accused on the diocese’s list 11/2/18. Cleary died 11/10/97.
Davis William Floyd Nashville, TN First named publicly as accused on the Nashville diocese’s list 11/2/18. Noted to have been incardinated into the Memphis diocese in 1972. Davis died 10/26/11.
Dickman Ronald W. Nashville, TN Per 2002 articles, Dickman was accused of abusing at least two students at Father Ryan High School where he was principal. One man complained in 1991 about his brother’s abuse and was told that Dickman had been removed from prior school in 1987 after earlier allegation. Dickman left priesthood in 1991 and moved to FL. He denied all allegations. On diocese’s list 11/2/18.
Haas Paul Frederick Nashville, TN At least 100 people have alleged abuse by Haas while he was assigned to Fr. Ryan High School in TN. Assigned 1964-65 to Catholic High School in Little Rock, AR. Transferred to KY around 1967 “for treatment.” Died 6/7/79.. One man told the diocese in 1996 that he had been abused at age 15 in 1961 by Haas. Diocese gave him $5700 in exchange for a release and a confidentiality agreement. Another came forward in 1999 alleging abuse in 1963. On Little Rock AR list 9/10/18. On Nashville list 11/2/18.
Lott Roger R. Nashville, TN Accused in 1996 of the sexual molestation of an altar boy in Nashville in late the 1950s. Removed by Order in 1997 and placed in a restricted setting. Order also facilitated a meeting between the accuser and the priest who said he was an alcoholic and could not remember any abuse. Still a member of the Order when he died 5/22/11. On Nashville diocese’s list 11/2/18. On Birmingham diocese’s list 12/14/18.
McKeown Edward Joseph Nashville, TN Admitted to raping three boys in the early 1980s. Settlement in 1985. Forced out of priesthood 1989. Went on to work at the Davidson County Juvenile Court. May have abused 20-30 youths. Began to abuse again in early 1990s. Convicted 1999 of 1995 abuse of boy, age 12. Sentenced to 25 years in prison.Two civil suits filed over abuse in 1995. More suits filed 9/06 and 3/07. Settlement of $1.1M related to abuse of two. On Nashville diocese’s list 11/2/18. Died in prison 12/30/18, age 74.
Reilly Joseph L. Nashville, TN First named publicly as accused on the Nashville diocese’s list 11/2/18. Dismissed from the diocese 1965. The list 11/2 mistakenly stated Reilly had died. The list was corrected and re-released 11/8/18. On Savannah diocese’s list 11/8/18. Noted to have worked there 1964-65 and to have been laicized in 1965.
Richards Franklin T. Nashville, TN Principal of Catholic high school. Confronted by parents of three children in 1984. Diocese and Richards say they paid them settlement. Sent for treatment. Left priesthood in 1989. He and Edward McKeown abused many of the same boys. He confessed to molesting 25 boys. No legal action due to SOL. Living in FL at last report. In deposition, he admitted homosexual relationships with two priests. On Nashville diocese’s list 11/21/18.
Rudisill James Arthur Nashville, TN First named publicly as accused on the diocese’s list 11/2/18. Retired 2/10/95. Died 2/8/08. Per news in 2/19, Rudisill admitted at a meeting with his accuser, Bishop Kmiec and the diocesan chancellor in 1994 that he had molested his accuser when she was a 12-year-old girl in the 1950s. The abuse was said to have occurred in a closet at a Catholic school gymnasium.
Walenga Edward Albert Nashville, TN First named publicly as accused on the Nashville diocese’s list 11/2/18. Walenga died 11/27/83.

Please note that this Tennessee 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.

Please bookmark this page and check back regularly for more up-to-date information on this priest abuse list as it becomes available.

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