Allegations of sexual misconduct made against a local priest stem from incidents that took place more than 30 years ago, according to a letter sent from the Catholic Diocese of Evansville to local authorities.
In a letter dated Sept. 5, 2018, addressed to Knox County Prosecutor Dirk Carnahan — which was given to the Sun-Commercial following a Freedom of Information Act request — vice-chancellor Dominic E. Faraone says the diocese received a “second-hand allegation” against Father David Fleck about an incident at Rivet High School in 1984.
This person, whom the diocese does not name, claimed that Fleck “solicited” two male Rivet students as well as as third “young man” on “another occasion at an unknown time.”
The ages of these three alleged victims, the diocese said, were unknown, and they haven't yet come forward themselves. Diocese officials also said they didn't yet know where these alleged incidents took place.
Fleck, who was a teacher at Rivet from 1979 to 1986, has denied the claims against him.
Diocese officials reiterate they received the allegations “second-hand” and that no victim had come forward — at least not as of Sept. 5.
The letter says the diocese “felt it prudent” to make local authorities aware of the allegations, but Carnahan said that has been the extent of his involvement in the investigation so far.
A phone call requesting additional information about the investigation as it stands today was made Friday by Sun-Commercial staff to Tim Hubert, the diocesan attorney.
There was no response by the newspaper's deadline.
A release issued by the diocese in early September said Fleck had been placed on administrative leave pending the results of the investigation and that the diocese had made a report to civil authorities and notified the Diocesan Review Board of the allegations.
Fleck has served at Rivet High School as well as Sacred Heart, St. John the Baptist, St. Vincent de Paul, St. Thomas, St. Thomas the Apostle, and St. Francis Xavier in Vincennes and St. Philip Neri in Bicknell.
Fleck is currently prohibited from all public ministry while an investigation is pending.
If you are a victim of sexual misconduct by a person ministering on behalf of the church, or if you know of anyone who has been a victim of such misconduct, please contact civil authorities and the Diocesan Victim Assistance Coordinator at 812-490-9565 or toll-free at 866-200-3004.