Waukesha WI BEWARE

For an analysis of WI oppressive laws disalloing suits by rape victims-go here. See also: Wisconsin SNAP and National SNAP

Leafleting focuses on former United Church of Christ, Methodist minister
By Tom Heinen
Tuesday, Jul 22 2008, 03:18 PM

Members of a victims' advocacy group distributed fliers over the weekend at First United Methodist Church of Waukesha to call attention to the fact that a minister who served as the church's pastor in the mid-1980s was convicted and sentenced last week for sexually assaulting a 17-year-old boy in 1987 while pastor of First United Methodist Church of Rice Lake. He has not been accused in Waukesha.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests(SNAP)wanted to point out, among other things, that child sexual crimes are "not just a Catholic problem" as the group continues to seek support for a Wisconsin Assembly bill that would require all religious denominations to provide the identities and case summaries of clergy, lay teachers, and employees who had sexually assaulted children but were not reported to the police.

The minister, Angel R. Toro, is noteworthy for another reason. After leaving Wisconsin in about 1989, he was granted ministerial standing in the United Church of Christ in 1997 and rose to national leadership positions in that denomination while serving as pastor of Chapel on the Hill in Seminole, near St. Petersburg, Fla. Acclaimed for increasing attendance there from about 30 people to 500 people, Toro served on the denomination's 90-member executive council, was on the team that implemented the "God is still speaking" national identity campaign in 2004 and is a past president of the Local Church Ministries Board, one of the denomination's four national ministry boards.

Toro was placed on a leave of absence from the Florida church in late January of 2007 and resigned both his ministerial standing in the denomination and his position of pastor at the church in March of that year.

After pleading guilty to four counts of fourth-degree sexual assault, Toro, 57, was sentenced last week to two nine-month jail sentences for two of the counts and two three-year probation terms for the others.

Clergy-abuse prosecution limits clarified
Court rules against priest who left Wisconsin
Associated Press and Journal Sentinel st
Posted: June 26, 2008

Madison - Clergy can be prosecuted for decades-old sexual abuse in Wisconsin if they left the state before a six-year statute of limitations expired, the state Supreme Court ruled Thursday.

Archdiocese Case
Recent Coverage
1/31/08: Archdiocese in the red
1/31/08: Documents detail church cover up

7/12/07: Abuse victims can sue for fraud
9/2/06: $17 million settles 10 abuse cases
8/30/06: Court rebuffs clergy abuse suit
7/20/06: Editorial: Where, sadly, the buck stops
7/7/06: Dolan braces archdiocese for priest sex abuse costs
4/7/06: Cousins Center may be sold
7/10/04: Milwaukee archdiocese releases names of 'restricted' priests
5/11/03: Priest arrested on sexual assault charges
10/28/02: Victims' testimony may lead to 2 criminal cases
8/22/02: 2 more priests to be removed

The decision came in an appeal brought by Father Bruce Duncan MacArthur, 86, who was charged in 2006 with sexually assaulting girls who were patients at a Beaver Dam hospital where he was a chaplain between 1965 and 1972.

The court ruled that the statute of limitations is in effect for all crimes that happened before 1989, when the law was changed, but that the clock stops ticking when someone no longer lives in Wisconsin.

MacArthur is retired and living in a community for abusive priests near St. Louis.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, an organization that assists victims of clergy abuse, said in a news release Thursday that the decision upholds about 15 cases brought against clergy who fled Wisconsin, including three cases awaiting trial.

Earlier this week, the group announced that it is suing the Milwaukee Catholic Archdiocese for fraud in connection with the sexual abuse of an altar boy in the 1970s by a now-defrocked priest.

According to a draft of the lawsuit, the archdiocese knew or suspected that Franklyn Becker was a child molester and a danger to children before he molested a child at St. John de Nepomuc parish in Milwaukee and Holy Family parish in Whitefish Bay between 1971 and 1973.

By placing Becker at those parishes, the archdiocese, through its agents, including the late Archbishop William Cousins, affirmatively represented that Becker was not a danger to children and that it had no knowledge of his history of abusing children, the suit claims.

The lawsuit demands a judgment in an amount to be determined at trial, according to the draft.

Last year, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled that the church could be sued for fraud for not telling the public about abusive priests before placing them in public ministry.

Becker, 70, who is accused of assaulting children in California and Wisconsin, lives in Mayville.

See also:The Wisconsin and New Hampshire Supreme Courts Rule Against Clergy Abuse Victims:
Two Decisions That Illustrate Why the Law in This Area Must Change


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