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7 of 16 accused priests served in area

The Diocese of New Ulm and Jeff Anderson & Associates law firm on Tuesday, March 29, released the names of 16 men who have been “credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor while they were assigned as priests.”Thirteen of the 16 are deceased, according to the news release issued by the diocese.
In a separate news release issued by Jeff Anderson & Associates, it was noted that seven of those 16 priests served parishes in McLeod County, including parishes in Glencoe, Silver Lake, Stewart, Winsted and Hutchinson.
Those who have been accused and who have served parishes in McLeod County include: Michael Skoblik, St. Joseph in Silver Lake, 1965-1988; Douglas Schleisman, St. Adalbert and St. Joseph of Silver Lake, 1984-1993; Rudolph Henrich, 1937-38, Louis Heitzer, 1942-44, Charles Stark, 1945-46, Dennis Becker, 1963-66, Douglas Schleisman, 1981-84 and Robert Clark, 1984-39, all serving at Holy Trinity in Winsted; Dennis Becker, serving at St. Boniface in Stewart from 1990-1991 and 1995-1998 and at St. Anastasia, Hutchinson, 1987-98; Rudolph Henrich, St. Boniface, Stewart, 1954-1957; and Michael Skoblik, St. George, Glencoe, 1952-1965.
Others who were credibly accused of child sexual abuse are Cletus Altermatt, Gordon Buckley, J. Vincent Fitzgerald, John Gleason, Harry Majerus, Francis Markey, William Marks, John Murphy and David Roney.
Four of the 16 — Fitzgerald, Heitzer, Henrich and Majerus — were not accused while serving in the New Ulm Diocese, which includes the McLeod County parishes. However, they have been accused in other dioceses.
“It is important that we recognize the credible accusations made against these men and acknowledge the terrible harm done by abuse in church ministry,” said Bishop John LeVoir of the Diocese of New Ulm in the joint news release. “On behalf of the Church, I apologize for the grave offense committed against the vulnerable by those who were ordained to serve our communities. We are grateful to the survivors who have come forward already and encourage  those who have not come forward to do so.”
Anyone who has suffered sexual abuse by a priest or another person in church ministry is encouraged to report such misconduct to local law enforcement.