UPDATE (8/14/19 1:45 pm): They Cheyenne Police Department has clarified, in a second statement released Wednesday, that the individuals for whom police are recommending charges, are one member of the Catholic Clergy and another person who was seeking membership in the Catholic Clergy at the time of the offenses.
The story below has been changed to reflect this clarification.
CASPER, Wyo. — An investigation into sex abuse taking place in Cheyenne by members of the Catholic Clergy has resulted in affidavits of probable cause being filed with the Laramie County District Attorney’s Office.
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According to a Cheyenne PD statement, the affidavits outline how a member of the Catholic Clergy and a person seeking membership in the Catholic Clergy sexually abused male juvenile victims in the 1970’s and 1980’s.
Due to a Wyoming law to protect the identity of victims in sex abuse cases, the names of the suspects cannot be released at this time.
“The submission of the affidavits comes from the Cheyenne Police Department’s year-and-a-half long investigation into allegations that juvenile males were the victims of sex abuse by members of the Catholic Clergy,” Cheyenne PD said in a statement Wednesday. “Wyoming is unique in that it does not have a statute of limitations, and therefore these crimes, which were committed in the 1970’s and 1980’s, can still be investigated and prosecuted.”
Cheyenne Police say that the investigation stems from a case initiated in 2002 that was reopened in 2018 when new information was produced and provided to the Cheyenne Police Department by an independent investigation conducted by the Wyoming Diocese of the Catholic Church.
“Detectives with the [Cheyenne Police Department] utilized this new information to further investigate the 2002 case and in the process found other victims and offenders.,” Cheyenne PD said. “While the [Cheyenne Police Department] has submitted affidavits, this case remains open until it has been adjudicated.”
A list of clergy, identified by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Cheyenne as having “substantiated allegations” of sexual abuse, was released in June of 2019. The list included several clergy that served around the state, including Casper and Cheyenne.