ATLANTA - The Catholic archbishop of Atlanta has released bombshell documents naming over a dozen priests and other clergy in the Atlanta metro area accused of sexually abusing minors.
Channel 2's Tom Regan went to the Cathedral of Christ the King in Buckhead, where three of the priests on the list once served at the most prominent church in the archdiocese.
Regan spoke to a victim, who said he was abused by one of those priests as a teenager in the 1970s at a different parish facility. The victim, who didn't want to be identified, said the church never took his complaint seriously.
“I was trapped.” Man describes how he was abused by a Catholic priest, one of more than a dozen named in a list just released by the Archbishop of Atlanta. What happened when he went to church officials to report the abuse. Live at 5pm. pic.twitter.com/5h2F1DoCow— Tom Regan (@tomreganWSB) November 7, 2018
Now, decades later, its all coming to light.
Now 59 years old, the victim Regan spoke to said his jaw dropped when he saw the name of one of the priests on the list, which was released Tuesday night.
The victim said Father Jacob Bollmer ask him to strip at his home in St. Joseph Village while the victim was in high school. He said he remembers Bollmer telling him to close the window shades and undress.
"He asked me to stand up in the middle of the room and pull my pants down," the victim said. "He's in his lounge chair reclining back, and I'm standing in the middle of the room and I'm 15 years old and he says, 'Spin around.'"
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The victim said Bollmer didn't touch him, but he was still shaken by the encounter and didn't know what the priest was doing.
Years later, following the clergy scandal in Boston, the victim reported what happened to him right here in Atlanta to the archdiocese. The victim said the church never did anything about it.
"It candidly made me feel like they were discounting my story," the victim told Regan.
Archbishop Wilton Gregory released the name of Bollmer and 14 other priests, deacons and seminarians who Gregory said were "credibly accused" of sexually abusing minors. Nearly half, including Bollmer, have since died.
Others have been convicted or removed from the ministry. No current priests are on the list.
The victim said he's glad the church is acknowledging the abuse, but he thinks there are likely more cases.
"It is a sense of justice, at least they are acknowledging it," the victim said. 'If that's all the cases of abuse and coverup they have, that would be great. (But) I don't believe it for a minute."
In releasing the names, the archbishop said he renewed his apology for the damage young lives have suffered.
Some church members said it was too late. Rich Meyer, a parishioner, said the names should have been released years ago and that the archdiocese both here and others across the county repeatedly failed to protect children from abuse.
"It think it's absolutely awful," Meyer said. "And I think the church made a big mistake for not coming forward earlier to take care of this problem."
The victim agrees.
"There wasn't a sense of urgency to come clean and address the issue," he said. "And it makes me wonder how much more abuse there was."
Regan asked the archdiocese if they knew how many children were victimized, but didn't get a response.
The following priests were included on the list:
- 1987 Catholic Charities, Atlanta
- 1969-1987 St. Joseph Village (Priest in Residence)
- 1968-1969 Cathedral of Christ the King
Status: Removed from ministry in 1987; deceased 2000.
Sergio Mauricio Calle Perez
- 1998-1999 St. John Neumann
- 1998-1999 St. Marguerite d'Youville
- 1999 Prince of Peace
Status: Permanently removed from ministry (Laicization) 2004.
- 2001 Saint George (Newnan)
- 1996-2001 St. Michael (Gainesville)
- 1992-1996 Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
- 1991-1997 Hispanic Liaison Personnel Board
- 1988-1992 Cathedral of Christ the King
- 1987-1988 Leave of Absence
- 1984-1987 St. Philip Benizi
- 1981-1984 St. Joseph (Dalton)
- 1978 Immaculate Heart of Mary
Status: Permanently removed from ministry (Laicization) 2004.
John Douglas Edwards
- 1987-1989 St. Catherine of Siena (Kennesaw)
- 1987 Sacred Heart of Jesus
- 1987 St. Pius X
- 1986-1987 Leave of Absence
- 1981-1986 St. Thomas More
- 1975-1981 St. Joseph
- 1974-1975 St. John the Evangelist
- 1973-1974 Leave of Absence
- 1972-1973 St. Thomas Aquinas
- 1967-1972 Our Lady of Perpetual Help
- 1966-1967 St. Jude the Apostle
- 1985-1966 Sacred Heart
- 1963-1965 Our Lady of Assumption
- 1962-1963 St. Mary
- 1961-1962 St. Anthony of Padua
- 1961 Cathedral of Christ the King
Status: Deceased 1997.
- 1992-1993 Most Blessed Sacrament
- 1989-1992 St. John the Evangelist (Hapeville)
- 1988-1989 St. Jude the Apostle
- 1987 - Sabbatical
- 1981-1987 Sts. Peter and Paul (Decatur)
- 1977-1981 Transfiguration
- 1974-1977 Mother of Our Divine Saviour (Toccoa)
- 1973-1974 Sacred Heart (Atlanta)
- 1971-1973 St. Joseph (Athens)
- 1969-1971 St. Joseph High School
- 1968-1969 St. Thomas More (Decatur)
Status: Removed from ministry 1992; deceased 2017.
Stanley Dominic Idziak
- 1985-1988 St. Michael
- 1981-1985 Corpus Christi
- 1978-1981 All Saints
Status: Removed from Ministry 1966, Deceased 2012
Leonard Frances Xavier Mayhew
- Holy Cross (Atlanta)
- 1960 St. Anna (Monroe)
- 1960 St. Joseph's (Atlanta)
- 1959 St. Anthony (Atlanta)
- 1955 St. Thomas More (Decatur)
Status: Removed from ministry 1966; deceased 2012.
- St. Joseph Church (Marietta)
Status: Deceased 2009.
Richard Roy Boucher
- Our Lady of LaSalette
Status: Removed from ministry 1992.
Kenneth Joseph Cassity
- St. Ann (Marietta)
Status: Convicted 2003.
- 1985-1987 Corpus Christi (Stone Mountain)
- 1985 Saint Francis of Assisi (Diocese of Northhamptonshire, England)
- Status: Removed from ministry 1997; convicted 1990.
- St. Jude the Apostle
- 2010-2013: St Philip Benizi
Status: Removed from ministry 2013
- 1981-1988 St. Francis of Assisi (Blairsville)
- 1981-1988 St. Paul the Apostle (Cleveland)
- 1979-1981 St. Luke (Dahlonega)
Status: Convicted 2013.
Louis P. Rogge
Status: Removed from ministry 2002; convicted 2007; deceased 2007.
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