PEORIA — A Minnesota-based law firm released a report Wednesday naming almost 400 members of the Roman Catholic clergy and staff in Illinois who have been accused of sexual misconduct.
That report includes some 29 with ties to the Diocese of Peoria, 26 of whom already appear on a Peoria diocese list of priests and others removed from the ministry for their conduct. The diocese said in a statement that all 26 were reported to the relevant county state's attorney when they became known.
The three others not listed by the diocese are Msgr. Charles Beebe, Msgr. Thomas Maloney and the Rev. Frank Martinez Jr.
Of Beebe, the report notes that in 2018 a man filed a lawsuit alleging he was abused by Beebe while a student at Academy of Our Lady / Spalding Institute. The diocese said that allegation was immediately brought to Peoria police, was reported to the state's attorney, and that its own Diocesan Review Commission also investigated and "unanimously determined that the allegation was unsubstantiated and could not be determined to be credible." Beebe was restored to the ministry and has been retired since 2016. He served at St. Joseph in Roanoke and St. John in Benson from 2003-16; St. Philomena in Peoria from 1999-2003; Sacre Coeur and Sacre Coeur School in Creve Coeur and the diocesean offices from 1991-93; Peoria Notre Dame from 1988-91; Academy of Our Lady / Spalding Institute from 1974-84; and St. Joseph in Perkins and St. Bernard in Peoria from 1970-73.
Of Maloney, the report states at least five people have accused him of child sexual abuse, with one suing him. The diocese statement says an allegation was received when he was alive, and that Maloney was placed on administrative leave while an inquiry by the review commission was conducted. The claim against him "was unanimously determined to be unsubstantiated," the diocese said, though it acknowledged entering into a settlement agreement after Maloney's 2002 retirement and his 2009 death. That settlement, they say, involved no admission of liability, and the case was reported to the state's attorney as well. Locally, Maloney served at St. Mary's Cathedral in 1968, St. Monica's in East Peoria in 1973, and also had postings in Ottawa, Normal, Chenoa and Lexington.
Martinez spent most of his career in Iowa, and was accused of advances toward a teen boy in Davenport in 1986. He was removed from ministry in 2004, laicized in 2008, and appeared on a Diocese of Davenport list of priests accused of sexual abuse beginning in 2008. His last posting before 2004 was at St. Mary of the Angels Convent in Rock Island. The Peoria diocese said that it "never received an allegation of abuse regarding Fr. Martinez."
The diocese also noted in its statement that "the majority of the 29 names released today are deceased. Furthermore, the allegations of abuse dated back several decades."
It also affirmed that the diocese "remains committed to maintaining a safe environment to all children."