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The Catholic Diocese of Superior in northwestern Wisconsin has released the names of 23 clergy members who have been identified as having "substantiated" allegations of child abuse against them following multiple reviews.

James Powers, Bishop of the Diocese of Superior, announced clergy members with credible allegations of child abuse on Tuesday, which follows three reviews with external agencies, "more than a year of meetings,” and "multiple sessions with the Diocesan Review Board."

The Diocese of Superior includes the City of Superior as well as Ashland, Barron, Bayfield, Burnett, Douglas, Iron, Lincoln, Oneida, Price, Polk, Rusk, Sawyer, St. Croix, Taylor, Vilas and Washburn counties.

According to documents released by the diocese, a “substantiated allegation” of abuse identified in the review had to meet certain standards. This includes accuracy and detail, witnesses, physical evidence, repeated claims, civil lawsuits, or investigations by the bishop.

The named clergy include members of both the Diocese of Superior and other areas in Wisconsin and other states.

The oldest timeframe of abuse listed dates back to 1943, with the most recent being in 2003. Twenty of the named clergy members are dead. The list includes priests and those who served in other roles, such as deacons and church helpers.

“While most of the allegations in the list are more than 30 years old, I know that the wounds caused by abuse are as fresh as if the abuse happened yesterday. I understand that the publication of this list may reopen those wounds and I sincerely apologize,” Powers said in the announcement.

“It is my hope and prayer that making this list public will bring healing.”

The named clergy members are:

  • Theodore Ahrens (priest, Diocese of Superior)
  • Thaddeus Augustyn (priest, Diocese of Superior)
  • James Bartelme (priest, Diocese of Superior)
  • Edward Beutner (priest, Diocese of Superior)
  • Michael Charland (served in Wisconsin, accused in Missouri, Minnesota and Illinois)
  • Donald Dummer (served in Wisconsin, accused in Minnesota)
  • Thomas Eriksen (priest, Diocese of Superior)
  • Ryan Erikson (priest, Diocese of Superior)
  • Augustine Hanchack (served in Wisconsin, accused in Kansas)
  • Richard Herrmann (served and accused in Wisconsin)
  • Joseph Higgins (priest, Diocese of Superior)
  • Irving “Jack” Klister (priest, Diocese of Superior, accused in New Mexico)
  • James Kraker (priest, Diocese of Superior)
  • John “Jack” Leipert (served in Wisconsin, accused in Michigan)
  • Gerald Mahon (priest, Diocese of Superior)
  • David Malsch (priest, Diocese of Superior)
  • Lawrence Murphy (served and accused in Wisconsin)
  • Alan Payne (priest, Diocese of Superior)
  • John Regh (priest, Diocese of Superior)
  • Robert Scobee (served in Wisconsin, accused in Missouri)
  • John Stremski (priest, Diocese of Superior)
  • Timothy Svea (accused in Wisconsin)
  • Louis Telegdy (served in Wisconsin, accused in Iowa, Kentucky and California) 

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