June 25, 2019

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Las Vegas diocese IDs 33 priests ‘credibly accused’ of sexual abuse

Apr 12, 2019 | ,


The Catholic Diocese of Las Vegas released a list on Friday of 33 priests “credibly accused” of sexual abuse who at some point served in the Las Vegas Valley.

The announcement came a week after the Catholic Diocese of Reno named 12 “credibly abused” priests, eight of whom at some point had served in the Las Vegas area. All of those priests were included in the new Las Vegas list.

Reno’s list included Monsignor Robert Anderson, who died in 1978 but in 1993 was accused of sexually abusing a Henderson boy between 1965 and 1969, according to a lawsuit the victim filed when he was 41. The man said the abuse began when he was about 13.

“The sexual abuse was accomplished, in part, because Monsignor Anderson, a Roman Catholic priest, befriended the minor plaintiff as a parishioner and altar boy and provided him with counseling and guidance,” the lawsuit said at the time. “Monsignor repeatedly assured the minor plaintiff that the sexual contact was appropriate activity.”

Anderson served in churches all over Nevada, including in Reno, Sparks, Ely, Fallon and Zephyr Cove, among other communities, according to the Reno list. But he circled back to the Las Vegas area often.

He first served in Las Vegas at St. Joan of Arc in 1944, then in Boulder City at St. Andrews from 1944 to 1947 before traveling north.

Anderson returned to Southern Nevada in 1962, serving at St. Christopher in North Las Vegas until 1963 and St. Peter the Apostle in Henderson between 1963 and 1969.

The only living priest named in the Reno list was Eugene Braun, who also served in Las Vegas off and on but was removed from the ministry in 1974. He is accused of molesting teenage girls in Northern Nevada, and in the early 2000s, at least one woman settled with the Reno diocese in connection with her decades-old allegations, according to a 2007 story in the Reno Gazette-Journal.

In the Las Vegas area, Braun was assigned to St. Christopher in 1957, St. Joan of Arc in 1958, St. John Vianney in 1963 and St. Francis de Sales in 1970. A call Monday to his Las Vegas home was not returned.

The six other priests with Las Vegas connections were Robert Despars, William Duff, Florence Flahive, Harold Vieages, Stuart Campbell and Robert Bowling.

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