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Group says other priests could be part of Omaha sex abuse claims

Posted: 5:15 PM, Feb 13, 2019
Updated: 2019-02-13 18:16:30-05
SNAP info on sex abuse victims omaha catholic church archdiocese

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) -- — A victim's support group is calling for more transparency from the Archdiocese of Omaha amid the sexual abuse scandal.

"The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests" is calling on Omaha’s Catholic Church to include four clerics who were accused of sexual abuse on children in other states.

In December, the church released a list of 38 clergy with substantiated claims of sexual abuse or sexual misconduct with a minor.

SNAP says Fathers Thomas Laughlin, Alphonsus Ferguson, James Kelly, and Michael Nash all worked or spent time in Nebraska and were accused of sex crimes in other states. Though Laughlin and Ferguson have died; they say the others could be living here.

"Our view is that any child molesting priest, brother, nun, bishop, seminarian who was in this arch diocese the Catholics and the citizens need and deserve to know about them because we can protect our kids best if we know who and where these predators are,” said David Clohessy, with SNAP.

The Nebraska Attorney General's Office has asked the Omaha, Lincoln, and Grand Island diocese to share investigation reports dating back 40 years.

“Fr. Thomas Laughlin, Fr. Alphonsus Ferguson, Fr. James Kelly, and Fr. Michael Nash were not priests of the Archdiocese of Omaha. They were religious order priests. Therefore, the Archdiocese does not have records and personnel files on these priests. It is possible these priests could have passed through or spent some time in Omaha decades ago without the archdiocese knowing about it. If that was the case and an individual feels he or she was the victim of abuse, then that individual should contact law enforcement,” said Deacon Tim McNeil with the Archdiocese of Omaha.