Winona diocese adds deceased priests to clergy sex abuse list

The Diocese of Winona on Friday released the names of two more priests accused of sexual abuse and said it doesn't expect more disclosures.

The men — the Rev. Harold Mountain and the Rev. Thomas Duane — were previously unknown to the public. They served in the diocese for more than four decades. Both men have since died.

Mountain served in several parishes during his 47 years with the diocese. He retired in 1989 and died in 2006. According to his priest file, Mountain's victim was a young boy.

Duane served in parishes and at a high school during his 41 years with the diocese. He retired in 1979 and died in 1993. According to his file, Duane's victim was an adolescent woman.

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The disclosures were prompted by recently obtained information by the Diocese of Winona and the review of the diocese's priest files as part of a settlement in a clergy abuse lawsuit, said victims' attorney Mike Finnegan.

"Survivors of child sex abuse often feel that they're alone and that they're the only one that were abused by that perpetrator," he said.

"It's often not until the name and some information about that individual goes out that people have the freedom and are able to get the courage to come forward and break the silence and tell other people what happened to them," Finnegan added.

Both priests died before the diocese became aware of the sexual abuse accusations, diocese spokesperson Joel Hennessy said.

"We have completed the review of all of our files and disclosed the names that meet the minimum threshold for disclosure. These two names are being added due to new information that was recently disclosed to us," he said.

The diocese does not anticipate any additional disclosures unless new information comes forward, Hennessy added.

The release of "credibly accused" priests began in December 2013, after Ramsey County Judge John Van de North ordered the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and the Diocese of Winona to disclose the names of credibly accused priests on a previously sealed list created several years earlier.

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