The Rev. Joseph Weitensteiner, the former director of Morning Star Boys’ Ranch, has been reinstated as an active priest after the last sex abuse claims against him were rejected by a retired federal judge hired to rule on the credibility of the cases. Referred to as “Father Joe” by a Catholic community that admired his decades of work with troubled boys, Weitensteiner, now 82, has never wavered in his insistence that he didn’t molest boys entrusted to his care at the ranch southeast of Spokane.
The Rev. Joseph Weitensteiner, the former director of the Morning Star Boys Ranch, has been reinstated into the active Catholic ministry after sex abuse claims against him were denied by a retired federal judge hired to rule on the credibility of the cases.
The Spokane Park Board this week honored its vice president who died last month. Jim Quigley, 79, who worked as a dentist for about four decades in Spokane, served on the board for nine years.
Catholic parishes are contributing $1.5 million toward a broad legal settlement expected to help the church resolve clergy sex abuse claims and avoid the foreclosure of churches and schools. It’s the second settlement in five years that has been billed as ending the bankruptcy of the Catholic Diocese of Spokane, which has struggled with more than a decade of scandal.
Nineteen lawsuits against the Morning Star Boys’ Ranch have been settled, part of a larger settlement that’s expected to sew shut all of the outstanding legal issues surrounding the clergy sex abuse problems of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Spokane. The seven years of litigation damaged the reputation of Morning Star and its revered longtime director, the Rev. Joseph Weitensteiner, who had been affectionately called Father Joe by legions of former ranch residents, Catholic parishioners and supporters.
A mediation effort designed to resolve ongoing legal problems faced by the Catholic Diocese of Spokane now includes the Morning Star Boys Ranch, according to court records. It sets up the possibility that a far-reaching agreement would sew shut most if not all of the outstanding clergy sex abuse litigation that continues to plague the two Catholic ministries a decade after the scandal broke in Spokane.
A mediation effort designed to resolve ongoing legal problems faced by the Catholic Diocese of Spokane now includes the Morning Star Boys Ranch, according to court records. It sets up the possibility that a far-reaching agreement would sew shut most if not all of the outstanding clergy sex abuse litigation that continues to the plague the two Catholic ministries a decade after the scandal broke in Spokane.
A Spokane man molested in the 1970s after being placed as a foster child in the home of a convicted child molester will be paid $1.7 million by the state Department of Social and Health Services as part of a settlement that avoids a civil trial that was to begin Monday. Attorneys informed Superior Court Judge Tari Eitzen that they reached the settlement Sunday night, which avoided a civil trial scheduled to last five weeks.
A senior federal judge in Spokane reversed a lower court order Monday and cleared the Spokane Catholic Diocese and its lawyers of contempt. It was a rare legal win for the diocese since it reopened its bankruptcy case last year to fight a group of newly filed sex abuse claims.
The Spokane Catholic Diocese must raise more than $800,000 this fall, some of it due in two weeks, to pay sex abuse claims or risk defaulting on its bankruptcy obligations and losing parishes to foreclosure. The diocese lost a legal fight Tuesday that could have forestalled such a drastic step. Diocese officials did not respond to messages left Tuesday after U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Patricia Williams cleared the way for collection efforts.