Commission finds “credible evidence” of past abuse by three priest and one lay person at St. Mary’s

       This is a developing story. KMXT will provide more information as it becomes available.

The Archdiocese of Anchorage on Friday released a report on an alleged sexual abuse by priests and lay persons affiliated with the archdiocese.

As KMXT’s Maggie Wall reports, an independent review commission found “credible evidence” of abuse perpetrated by four men associated with St. Mary’s Catholic Church here in Kodiak.

 

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The report and a cover letter were posted to the Archdiocese of Anchorage website on Friday.

“There is credible evidence to support the belief that 14 people who have served in the Archdiocese of Anchorage since 1966 engaged in sexual misconduct against minors and/or vulnerable adults,” states the cover letter signed by Bishop Andrew E. Bellisario, the Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Anchorage.

According to the report, four of the 14 men listed have worked in Kodiak. Three were priests and one was a lay employee. They were at St. Mary’s Catholic Church as long ago as 1966, and as recently as 2013. The three priests are dead, according to the report, which gives no information on the status or whereabouts of the lay employee.

 

Archdiocese of Anchorage. Photo: Valerie Kern/Alaska Public Media.

 

The review of archdiocese files was conducted by an Independent Commission made up of a retired Anchorage police captain, a retired Soldotna chief of police, a former prosecutor of crimes against children and adults, and a retired Alaska Superior Court Judge.

Commission members were charged with reviewing all files in the archdiocese’s possession and to submit a recommended list for publication of the names of those “who deliberately, or through gross negligence, failed to adequately respond to such misconduct.”

Credible evidence, as defined in the report are facts, “when viewed in light of surrounding circumstances, would cause a reasonable person to believe the allegation is true.”

A cover letter released with the report apologized to victims, their families, friends, and the community for the “grievous harm” they suffered.

It also said that anyone who was sexually abused by a bishop, priest, deacon, or other representative of the church who has not yet reported the abuse should consider disclosing what happened by contacting their local law enforcement agency.

 

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