(Wyo)-Succeeding Bishops Say Lack Of Victim Cooperation Hampered Hart Investigations
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - The 2 men who followed Joseph Hart as the Catholic bishop in Wyoming say their attempts to investigate accusations of sexual abuse against Hart were hampered by a lack of victim cooperation.
Bishop David Ricken took over in 2001 when Hart retired and was succeeded himself in 2008 by Bishop Paul Etienne, who served until 2016.
The diocese says Bishop Ricken forwarded to police a 2002 allegation against Hart that was later dropped due to a lack of cooperation by the alleged victim.
The diocese also says Bishop Etienne requested a Vatican investigation into Hart in 2010, but did not initiate his own investigation because the alleged victims "were not willing to speak."
At least 16 men in Wyoming and Missouri have said they were abused by Hart, who has denied all allegations.
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