The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

June 18, 2013

Priest who served in area accused of sex abuse


"We just know that the common procedure would have been if a priest were sick or on vacation, a priest helping out in Willmar would have been asked to cover," he said. "But there is no record of an official assignment."

Prior to being in Willmar, Markey had been sent to the Servant of the Paraclete facility in New Mexico in 1981. Noaker said it is now widely known that the Jemez Springs facility was used to treat priests for pedophilia. Markey had been sent to facilities in Ireland for sex offender treatment at least three times between 1964 and 1975 after being accused of sexually assaulting teen boys, Noaker said.

"This is a sad case because it never should have happened," he said outside the Brown County Courthouse in New Ulm after filing the lawsuit. "They knew Francis Markey couldn't control himself around children, and they put him in a position where he had access to children."

Noaker said he knows of four other victims from the Henderson church, which also included a congregation from Jessenland Township at the time. He expects more men to come forward even though the victim said Markey was only a priest at the church for fewer than two weeks.

During a telephone interview with The Free Press, the victim said he told his parents Markey had sexually touched him a short time after the incidents occurred. His parents reported the incident to a priest they knew in Arlington.

A short time later Markey was sent to serve as a priest at a church in Granite Falls, which also is within the Diocese of New Ulm. He was there for about three months.

"Basically our parish priest had passed away and this Father Markey was sent to us to fill in for him for about 10 days," the victim said.

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