- Associated Press - Monday, July 13, 2015

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) - A former Dubuque priest has been cleared of allegations that he sexually abused an altar boy in the 1980s following a review by the Archdiocese of Dubuque.

Dubuque Archbishop Michael Jackels said that the Archdiocesan Review Board considered evidence against the Rev. Leo Riley and that church officials hired a licensed private investigator to interview Riley and the altar boy, who is now 39 years old and made the accusations in March, the Telegraph Herald (https://bit.ly/1RtQIcW ) reported.

Jackels said in a Sunday letter to parishioners that “the best information available does not support a reasonable belief that the allegation is true.”

“Unless additional evidence is presented, there is no need to pursue it any further,” Jackels said.

Riley had served as a Church of Resurrection associate pastor in 1985 and 1986. He was placed on leave as a pastor in the Diocese of Venice, Florida, after the allegations surfaced.

Riley’s attorney, Guy R. Cook, said in an email on Monday that his client was “wrongly accused” and has vigorously denied the claims that he abused a minor.

“Last month he voluntarily submitted to a polygraph examination by a former FBI polygraph examiner. He passed the exam without question,” Cook said.

Messages seeking comment from the Florida diocese and the 39-year-old man were left by the newspaper.

An advocacy group for clerical-abuse victims said it doubts the veracity of the church’s investigation.

Executive director David Clohessy of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests said in a statement that his group doesn’t put much faith in church investigations of abuse claims.


Information from: Telegraph Herald, https://www.thonline.com

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