Ky. Priest Gets 10 Years for Sex Abuse

Associated Press/August 13, 2003
By Ellen R. Stapleton

Shepherdsville, Ky. -- A Roman Catholic priest was sentenced to 10 years in prison Wednesday for sexually abusing two boys from a family he befriended years ago.

The Rev. Daniel Clark was convicted in June by a Circuit Court jury of two counts of sexual abuse. Clark, who has been jailed since his arrest last year, was acquitted on one sodomy charge.

Judge Thomas Waller sentenced Clark to five years on each charge.

"We're not going to let this die,'' said Jodi Blair, a member of The Linkup, an advocacy group for clergy abuse victims. "We'll be back. He needs to serve the full 10 years because it's obvious he's not reformed.''

In June, the Louisville archdiocese agreed to pay $25.7 million to nearly 250 people who said they were abused. Clark, 55, was accused in more than a dozen of the suits.

Prosecutors said the abuse of the two boys took place over a four-year period ending in 2002. The victims, now 12 and 13, are brothers. Both testified they were abused by Clark in their home and on outings with the priest.

Clark, a regular visitor to the boys' home, often took them to football practice and skating. The priest also made payments on the family's trailer and bought them food and toys. He denied that he molested the boys.

Two of the boys' uncles also sued the archdiocese, claiming they were sexually abused by Clark when they were young.

In 1988, Clark pleaded guilty to sodomy and sexual abuse for molesting two other boys at St. Rita Catholic Church in Louisville. He was removed from public ministry after the first conviction but allowed to still volunteer.

The church's sex abuse crisis erupted in Boston in January 2002 and quickly spread to dioceses throughout the country.

Alleged victims of abuse were considering an offer by the Boston Archdiocese to settle 542 lawsuits. If approved, it would be the largest deal to settle allegations of clergy abuse since the scandal broke.

To see more documents/articles regarding this group/organization/subject click here.