Faith

Victims’ group wants to see upcoming criminal trial of accused KCK priest play out

SNAP wants KC diocese to post names of priests accused of sexual abuse

A group that represents survivors of clergy sex abuse last year called on the dioceses of Kansas City and Kansas City, Kan., to post online the names of religious leaders credibly accused of abuse. Some dioceses already are.
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A group that represents survivors of clergy sex abuse last year called on the dioceses of Kansas City and Kansas City, Kan., to post online the names of religious leaders credibly accused of abuse. Some dioceses already are.

Three weeks before the criminal trial of a priest charged with sexually abusing a child is set to begin in Wyandotte County, victims’ advocates on Thursday said they hoped the complete story comes out in court.

David Clohessy, former executive director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said the group wants prosecutors to reject any plea deal for the Rev. Scott Kallal and instead push for a jury trial at which those “who may have concealed or ignored” alleged child sex crimes against Kallal “might also be publicly exposed.”

SNAP also revealed the identities of three more accused priests who it said had connections to the Kansas City area but have escaped scrutiny.

“We challenge local Catholic officials to disclose the names of all alleged predator priests, along with their photos, whereabouts and full work histories,” Clohessy said.

The Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas responded in an email Thursday that it “has no files indicating that any of the three priests mentioned today...ever served in the archdiocese.”

The Rev. Scott Kallal
The Rev. Scott Kallal Submitted photo

Kallal was charged in Wyandotte County District Court in 2017 with two felony counts of aggravated indecent liberties with a child. A jury trial is scheduled to begin April 15.

At Kallal’s preliminary hearing in 2017, a 13-year-old girl testified that when she was 10, Kallal twice tickled her breasts against her wishes. The incidents allegedly occurred in 2015 but the police report was not filed until July, when Kallal was suspended and charged.

The first alleged incident was at a friend’s graduation party in Bonner Springs in spring 2015. The girl said she and other girls were outside playing soccer when Kallal tickled her inappropriately.

The second alleged incident took place a few months later at the parish hall gymnasium at St. Patrick’s church in Kansas City, Kan.

The archdiocese announced to parishioners in July 2017 that Kallal had been suspended from public priestly ministry as associate pastor at Holy Spirit Church in Overland Park pending the outcome of investigations into “boundary violation” allegations made against him by two people, one a minor.

The archdiocese later issued a statement saying a preliminary investigation revealed violations of some “safe environment guidelines” that all priests, employees and volunteers must observe when interacting with young people. Because one of the “boundary violation” allegations involved a minor, the archdiocese said, it notified the Kansas Department for Children and Families.

According to the statement, “in a second interview session with the archdiocesan investigator at the end of May 2017, an allegation was first made that Father Kallal touched the chest of the minor during an incident that had originally been described as tickling.”

The statement said Kallal “denies any moral misconduct or malicious intent and has agreed to undergo evaluation and counseling.”

On Thursday, SNAP disclosed the names of three more publicly accused priests who the organization said local Catholic officials should add to their lists.

The Rev. Gilbert Stack, a Kansas City native who belonged to the Order of St. Benedict and attended four area colleges: Rockhurst College in Kansas City; St. Benedict’s in Atchison, Kan.; Conception Seminary in northwest Missouri; and Missouri State Teacher’s College in Maryville. Stack served in the Diocese of Rapid City in South Dakota, where he was accused in 1992 of abuse dating back to the 1950s. He returned to Kansas City in 1994 and died in 2007. This week, the Rapid City diocese disclosed Stack’s name on a list it released of credibly accused priests.

The Rev. Thomas S. McShane, a Jesuit priest who was assigned to St. Mary’s College in Kansas in 1961. McShane was accused of sexually abusing a child in the 1950s while assigned to the St. Francis Mission in St. Francis, S.D. His name is included on the USA Midwest Province Jesuits’ list as having at least one “established allegation of sexual abuse of a minor.”

McShane also was named this week on the Rapid City diocese’s list of credibly accused priests. A longtime physics professor at Creighton University in Omaha, he died in October at 89.

The Rev. Philip D. Kraus was a Jesuit priest accused of sexually abusing a minor in the 1970s. He was restricted from ministry with minors in 1996 and was permanently removed from all ministry in 2003. Kraus was named in December on the Jesuits U.S. Central and Southern Province’s list of those with “credible allegations of sexual abuse of a minor.” Ordained in 1975, Kraus had assignments in St. Louis; Aurora, Colo.; Peoria, Ill.; Alhambra, Calif.; and St. Francis Xavier Parish and Rockhurst College in Kansas City.

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