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UPDATE: Law firm says 29 Peoria diocese priests accused of sexual misconduct

PEORIA, Ill. (HOI) — A law firm is set to release a list of 395 Catholic clergy and laypersons accused of sexual misconduct from all six Catholic dioceses in Illinois on Wednesday.

Jeff Anderson and Associates is holding a press conference in Chicago to announce the release of their 185-page report detailing the priests accused of sexual abuse.

The law firm is also demanding the release of the names of more than 500 priests and clergy members identified by former Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan as the targets of sexual abuse allegations, in addition to the 185 priests already publicly identified as “credibly accused” by the church. The Diocese of Peoria said they cooperated with the attorney general’s probe. 

The law firm is also asking for files pertaining to each person accused of sexual abuse.

The report identifies 29 priests accused of sexual abuse while serving in the Catholic Diocese of Peoria. Of those, 26 are already identified as “credibly accused” by the diocese.

In a statement responding to Anderson’s report, the Catholic Diocese of Peoria commented on the three priests not mentioned as “credibly accused” on their website.

Fr. Frank Martinez:
He is a priest of the Diocese of Davenport, Iowa, and is listed on their diocesan website.
The Diocese of Peoria has never received an allegation of abuse regarding Fr. Martinez.

Msgr. Charles Beebe:
Jeff Anderson’s report today stated that the Diocese of Peoria only reported this case after
a lawsuit was filed. This is completely false.

In June 2018, the Diocese of Peoria received an allegation that Msgr. Beebe sexually
abused a person in 1981 (37 years ago). Msgr. Beebe was immediately placed on
administrative leave and cooperated with the investigation. This allegation was
immediately reported to the Peoria Police Department. The police investigated this
accusation and reviewed Msgr. Beebe’s personnel file. They concluded their
investigation and acknowledged the Diocese’s cooperation in this matter. This allegation
was taken to our Diocesan Review Commission. The Commission unanimously
determined that the allegation was unsubstantiated and could not be deemed credible.
Msgr. Beebe was reinstated in ministry. Msgr. Beebe is a retired priest since 2016. This
case has been reported to the appropriate State’s Attorney. All of these actions of the
Diocese occurred months before any lawsuit being filed.

Msgr. Thomas Maloney:
While Msgr. Maloney was alive, an allegation was received. He was immediately placed
on administrative leave. This allegation was taken to the Review Commission and it was
unanimously determined to be unsubstantiated.

Later after Maloney’s death, the Diocese entered into a settlement agreement. As is often
the case with settlements, the Diocese makes no admissions of liability. This case has
been reported to the appropriate State’s Attorney.

A further ten priests or laypersons who served with the Peoria diocese are listed under a list of those accused in Illinois. Some of their actions happened outside the state, the law firm alleges.

“Under the direction of Bishop Jenky, the Catholic Diocese of Peoria remains committed
to maintaining a safe environment to all children,” said the Diocese of Peoria in a press release.

Read the full report here. 

We went to two local Catholic churches to get reaction about the alleged abuse, no one would speak on camera or in great detail other than to say it is very sad.

Tim Shelley

Social Media & Digital Content Manager

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