In response to an Associated Press article, the Diocese of Sioux issued the following response on Nov. 20.
There was an allegation made against Brian Danner by the parents of a student at St. Mary’s in Humboldt. The student told her parents that he touched her leg in the confessional. As a result of the report, Danner’s priestly faculties were suspended and he continues to not function as a priest.
After taking the report, diocesan legal counsel contacted the Humboldt County Attorney both by phone and with two letters. The Diocesan Review Board also reviewed the allegation and followed up with the family.
The Review Board will be working on the list of credibly accused priests at its December meeting, and there will be further information gained from the meeting that the diocese set with the Attorney General of Iowa on Dec. 6.
Additionally, people were not “kept largely in the dark,” as Bishop Walker Nickless went to the parish in Humboldt and explained to the parishioners what had transpired and that Danner had been removed.
Since the 2002 Charter for Children and Young People was put into place, there is a zero tolerance policy for any clergy, staff, or volunteers who work in any capacity at the diocese. Any allegation is handled immediately. If the Bishop, after receiving input from the Review Board, determines that it is a possible credible allegation of sexual abuse against a minor, civil authorities are notified. Priestly duties are suspended and the Review Board, made up of lay people from the diocese, review all allegations and advise the Bishop how to proceed.
If you suspect abuse of a minor, call law enforcement.
The Diocese of Sioux City partners with an independent and professional local care provider to offer confidential, compassionate assistance for both minors and adults who were victims in their childhood by a member of the clergy.
Please contact Angie Mack, Victim Assistance Coordinator at Mercy Child Advocacy Center: (866) 435-4397 or (712) 279-5610.