FOND DU LAC - Newly released documents are providing graphic details about clergy sex abuse cases in Wisconsin. The papers were released by the Milwaukee Catholic Archdiocese as part of a bankruptcy case.
Overall, the documents outline alleged abuse by 45 clergy members. Several of those served in churches in Northeast Wisconsin.
Not only do the documents reveal graphic depictions of sexual abuse of children, they also paint a picture of a plan that was developed to pay some abusers to leave the priesthood.
Of the priests locally, two were in the Fond du Lac area when the abuse and accusations occurred.
The Milwaukee Archdiocese released 6,000 pages of documents on former clergy Monday. Those pages tell stories of abuse going back decades and how that abuse was handled.
Often offenders were given therapy then moved to new parishes. Of the 45 clergy members listed in the documents, two had incidents mentioned in the Fond du Lac area.
The first is John O'Brien. According to the documents, he admitted to molesting a 17-year-old boy when he was a priest with Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish in North Fond du Lac. He was convicted of fourth-degree sexual assault, a misdemeanor.
The documents show O'Brien faced three other accusations of abuse.
He voluntarily left the priesthood in 2009. O'Brien was also given $10,000 from the church as part of the process.
The other clergy member is Jerome Wagner. Wagner was a priest in Oconomowoc in the 1980s. Documents show he got in trouble for allegedly giving teenaged boys alcohol, then getting into sexual positions with them.
According to archdiocese records, Wagner was later moved to St. Louis Parish in Fond du Lac, then to a church in St. Peter, then to Holy Family Parish in Fond du Lac where he stayed from 2000 to 2002.
Wagner eventually left the priesthood in 2007.
The Fond du Lac Police Department is currently investigating Wagner regarding abuse locally. Authorities declined to speak about the investigation Monday night.
The archdiocese told FOX 11 getting this information to the public is a step in the right direction.
"Information to abuse survivors that they've asked for as a way of healing as a way of continuing that journey that they face in their lives of healing resolution," said spokesperson Jerry Topczewski.
However abuse survivors like Monica Barrett told us this step took too long.
"We've been fighting for the release of these documents for so long and the Archdiocese with all its resources has spent so much money trying to prevent this day and it's a real victory," said Monica Barrett.
The archdiocese told us the church has learned from past mistakes. Priests facing substantiated abuse claims can no longer minister in any way.
A panel of experts tasked with reviewing Outagamie County's response to a series of tornadoes that hit the county in August revealed its findings Wednesday.
The decision for whether or not Walmart can continue to investigate locating a store in Green Bay's Broadway District is now up to the city's redevelopment authority.
Explorers who removed a wooden slab from Lake Michigan this summer are taking an unusual step to determine whether it could have come from Le Griffon, a long-lost vessel from the 17th century.
A Green Bay-based beef processing company has submitted the minimum $12.75 million bid for an idled South Dakota plant, according to court paperwork filed Wednesday.
Repairs to a U.S. 41 overpass in Appleton will cost $175,000, with the company that struck the bridge picking up the tab, the state said Wednesday.
We have new details in a story about Minneapolis police officers who got into trouble in Green Bay.