Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Former Dubuque priest cleared in sexual abuse investigation returns to church

A former Dubuque priest cleared of wrongdoing in a sexual abuse investigation recently returned to his church in East Naples, Fla., following a leave of absence.

The Rev. Leo Riley, 59, returned to St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church on Oct. 1, according to a spokesman for the Diocese of Venice, Fla.

Riley served as a Church of the Resurrection associate pastor in 1985 and 1986. The Archdiocese of Dubuque launched an investigation after Jeff Buchheit, formerly of Dubuque, said in March that he was abused by Riley when Buchheit was in fourth grade and serving as an altar boy in October 1985.

In response, Riley was placed on leave from his position as a pastor in the Diocese of Venice.

The Archdiocese of Dubuque hired a licensed private investigator and former FBI agent to interview Riley, Buccheit and people who knew them. The investigator also checked criminal complaints made against Riley, who strenuously denied the allegations from the start. He also voluntarily submitted to a polygraph examination earlier this year, which he passed, according to diocesan officials.

No one else came forward to confirm the allegation or to raise new allegations, according to a letter dated July 22 sent by the Diocese of Venice to parishioners.

The Archdiocese of Dubuque’s findings were presented to a Venice diocesan review board composed primarily of laity, which unanimously concluded “that the best information available does not support a reasonable belief that the allegation is true,” according to the letter.

I don't know anything about this case.  That said, Venice is not a good place right now, I've heard.  Crazy parishioners after the bishop and orthodox priests or something like that.
Priests' letter to nuncio denounces Venice, Fla., bishop 

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