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Milwaukee archbishop defends handling of ‘he-said, she-said’ assault allegation

Catholic World News - February 18, 2010

A week after a priest ministering in the Diocese of La Crosse was charged with fourth-degree sexual assault, Archbishop Jerome Listecki of Milwaukee defended his decision not to act on the allegation. The archbishop served as Bishop of La Crosse from 2004 to 2009.

“It was a he-said-she-said,” Archbishop Listecki told reporters. “With everything that was put before me, I don't think I could have made any other decision.”

A 47-year-old woman alleges that Father Edmund Donkor-Baine, a priest from Ghana, assaulted her in August while he was offering her divorce counseling. The priest denies the charges.

After the diocese failed to act on her allegation, the woman reported the incident to police. The case has resulted in a recent change to the Diocese of La Crosse’s abuse-reporting policy: victims are now asked to report incidents immediately to civil authorities.

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