In a motion filed Thursday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court, a woman claims she was abused as a child by three Diocese of Davenport priests.

The woman, 47-year-old Kathleen Bowman of Clear Lake, Iowa, brought her allegations after bankruptcy proceedings involving the diocese already were under way and has received a settlement. She now claims the diocese is failing to comply with its non-monetary bankruptcy requirements and requests a hearing, according to the filing.

One of those requirements is to identify on its website accused priests whom the diocese deems “credible.”

Bowman claims she was abused by the Revs. John Bonn, Michael Broderick and William Dawson, and she wants the diocese to post those names.

She claims the chairperson of the diocese review board, Chris McCormick Pries, found her “credible” and that the board told her in a letter it believed her case, even though it will not identify the priests, the filing states.

The victim also says that Dawson was still alive when she first brought her allegation to the diocese in September 2011. Dawson died Dec. 13, 2011. Broderick died in 1984, and Bonn died in 1975.

The diocese responded Thursday afternoon, saying the victim is claiming abuse that occurred “decades ago” and her claims “have been exhaustively investigated” by an investigator approved by the bankruptcy court.

“The investigation included a review of hundreds of medical records spanning several decades and interviews with relatives of the claimant and others,” according to the diocese’s statement that spokesman Deacon David Montgomery sent to the Quad-City Times. “Additional requests for interviews of the claimant’s relatives were denied by the claimant. The review board found that the claim of abuse by priests was not credible.”

The diocese says it will file a response against the petition “because the diocese has complied and continues to comply with the bankruptcy plan and the orders of the bankruptcy court,” according to its statement.

U.S. District Judge Lee Jackwig has ruled that the diocese can withhold the names of 18 priests whom the diocese deemed not to be credibly accused but whose accusers received financial settlements.

The judge also ordered that an accuser can come forward to request a hearing if the person thinks the diocese is not in compliance.

Bowman’s attorney, Craig Levien, said Thursday that his client wants to explain to the judge what happened during her process of reporting abuse.

“She could not understand how the review board sent her a letter finding her credible and they believe her, and because of what are unrealistic burdens, the diocese refuses to list these priests as credibly accused,” Levien said.

Levien added that a review of Bowman’s case may shed light on accusations made against the 18 priests the diocese won’t name.

The diocese, its insurance company and the creditors committee agreed to a $37 million bankruptcy settlement to cover more than 150 sex abuse victims. The terms included the creation of a list of credible allegations of abuse on its website, which includes 31 former priests, their places of employment, dates and other details.

(15) comments


Something to keep in mind-

Child predators are very cunning and manipulative. They know every trick on how to groom, threaten, lie, and put the fear of god into their victims and sometimes even their family members.

They also appear to do a lot of goods things, they can be very charismatic and you may think they would never harm a child. They have to be this way, in order to not get caught and to continue to abuse

Sexual predators are often powerful and well-loved. It would be comforting if those who preyed on the vulnerable were obvious social misfits whose appearance would somehow set off alarm bells and give us the willies or the creeps. They rarely do. Usually, predators are among the last people we would suspect of sexually violating others. At a party, the predator isn't some oddball sitting alone in a corner because others feel uncomfortable with him. Most often, the predator is the guy throwing the party.

We must overcome the dangerous myth that because someone is successful or warm or caring, he or she couldn't have done that!
Also, we must stop thinking that because a man is old, that somehow he's automatically safe. It's just irresponsible to endanger kids by assuming an adult is harmless simply because he or she may be losing hair, wearing glasses, using hearing aids or walking with a cane. These can be signs of advancing age, but they are not signs that an individual is safe around kids.

It is extremely rare that a child predator has only one victim. Hopefully if anyone has knowledge or may have been harmed by John Bonn, Michael Broderick or William Dawson, they will contact the police.

Also keep in mind your silence only hurts, and by speaking up there is a chance for healing, exposing the truth, and therefore protecting others.

Judy Jones, SNAP Midwest Associate Director, 636-433-2511
"Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests" and all clergy.


Judy, all those things are true, and everyone should know all those facts; thank you for posting them.

That doesn't mean this particular allegation is true. Not at all. Several allegations that came up after the church started paying money out have been shown not to be credible. While one can't prove a negative, some are plainly false. This is one of them.


Several allegations that came up after the church started paying money out have been shown not to be credible. While one can't prove a negative, some are plainly false. This is one of them.

cindy sweeney

I am not saying that all her claim is false but I would stake my life on the fact that Father William Dawson never touched her! He is a saint!


I absolutely agree!!! There is no way on Earth Father Dawson did that.
And, come on, three different priests all abused her??? Bull.


Sgt.Carter alleges that homosexuals join the priesthood 'for cover'. This has got to be the most absurd thing I've heard today.

How about this: the Catholic Church has a long history of child abuse and covering it up for over a thousand years. This pedophilia has occurred in every place there is a Catholic diocese. The scandal starts at the Vatican and stretches around the world.


they abuse because they are catholic? that's really absurd! I didn't say every homosexual joins the priesthood............they are in position of trust anywhere the chance of a conquest of a child is pretty good.....any religion...sports...scouts etc.

mommakelly..............I also didn't say every priest was gay or that I want to stop them from being gay.......where did I say being gay is bad?.........if one is gay, just stay away from the kids.


zetar.......they are more likely to be molested my a gay who joined the priesthood as a 1st...priest 2nd


Gay does not equal pedophile. Just saying.


Being gay does not mean that you are a pedophile. Period. It means that you are biologically attracted to someone who is of the same sex as you. Being a pedophile means, most likely, that you yourself were molested by someone when you were young. This is how your sexuality was "imprinted" when you were young. The two are not related. Are a lot of priests gay? Absolutely, and I believe your assessment is right...that many priests join the priesthood because they ARE gay, and they can't face the reality that nature has placed on them and that their religion and family have told them is wrong. If there were no homophobia in this world, then those that would join the priesthood would do it, not to hide their sexuality, but because this is what they feel they are called to do. So, sgt, you want to stop priests from being gay? Stop saying that being gay is bad. Easy.


You are more likely to be molested by a priest than any other profession. It's a fact.

Catholic priests continue to molest children every day throughout the world. And the bishops and the Vatican continue to hide the pedophiles, cover up the molesting and shuffle the priests and bishops to a safe place; all the while denying everything.


Not all priest are bad. Obviously this lady is confused and wants someone to blame.


Confused geoff? If she's confused, it's probably because the diocese told her she was credible, enough to pay her, and now isn't living up to their agreement. I'm confused too.


Why wouldn't she want someone to blame? Someone IS to blame! Holy cow! Molesting children isn't like stealing a bag of Doritos from 7-11! Pedophiles SHOULD be identified. No, not all priests are bad. In fact, I'm sure most are great people. However, don't act like this crime should be shoved under the rug. It seems like that is the problem in the first place!


maybe confused like zetar and wants to blame catholics out of hate............

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.