The Diocese of Jefferson City

A Case Study of Clergy Sexual Abuse

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Childproof 53: John Vomastek, Father of Six, Helps Child Molester Escape



 

Page 53

 
Dear Bishop Gaydos:

John C. Nienstedt
Archbishop
Minneapolis, Minn.
Perhaps the most significant horror story
(in addition to each tale of victimization)
to emerge from the pedophile priest crisis
in the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis,
Minn., is the role played by the Rev. Mr.
John Vomastek.

Vomastek, a retired police officer
a senior commander with the City of
St. Paul Police Department, no less
is now known as the man who drives
the get-away car for Archbishop
John C. Nienstedt.

Nienstedt, the chairman of the organization
we have christened Nienstedt, Flynn, and Co.,
has made great strides as archbishop to protect
serial predators.  Indeed, he and his predecessor,
Harry J. Flynn despite solemn oaths and public
relations promises to the contrary have exerted
their influence beyond obstruction and intimidation
to conceal the evidence and history of these crimes.

What is incredibly important is how they have been able to
drag their lay employees in to this criminal morass as accessories and inculcate their beliefs with the pedophile mindset as the logical conclusion for the faithful within the Roman Catholic
Church in America.  As with the Peoples Temple Agricultural Project (i.e. the Rev. Jim Jones and Jonestown), Scientology’s
Sea Org and other cult groups, we’ve seen this shift in reasoning as a disintegrated construct that ultimately attacks the core beliefs of young people.

Robert J. Carlson
Archbishop
St. Louis, Mo.
Carlson, McDonough:  No Pang, No Qualm
But why would some church employees,
like Vomastek, accept this premise?


Robert J. Carlson, the archbishop of
St. Louis, agreed to perform the dirty
work for Archbishop John Roach.  But,
then, he is a careerist. 
As vicar general
his finger prints are all over the many
documents locked away in Nienstedt’s
vault.  He has no qualms about looting
a child’s innocence.

The Rev. Kevin McDonough followed
Carlson’s vocation strategy for both
Flynn and Nienstedt.  The former Twin Cities vicar general
thought he could build his career on the backs of the victims of child molesters and the vulnerable.  But Flynn and Nienstedt have failed to make good on McDonough’s option on a cathedral throne.

Instead, the nature of the current phase of this Twin Cities
catastrophe forced Flynn from the University of St. Thomas
board of trustees, which is as it should be.  Academia, after all, relies to a certain degree on moral character and the ability
to tell the truth. 
McDonough resigned from the St. Thomas board in October 2013.

A non-profit organizations operate on the same principle:  the imperative to maintain a pristine reputation is critical to successful outreach and fundraising (as the Susan G. Koman Foundation discovered in 2013).  And, yet, McDonough is still a member of
the Northwest Area Foundation board of directors. 

Why is that?


Northwest Area Foundation Board of Directors
Back row, left to right: Jim Laducer, Natalie Camacho Mendoza, William
Thorndike, Jr., Louis F. Hill, Elsie Meeks, Rodney Jordan, Sally Pederson,
Nicholas Walrod, Linda Hoeschler, Terrence W Glarner. 
Front row, left
to right:
Darrell Robes Kipp (deceased), the Rev. Kevin McDonough, Lynda
Bourque Moss. 
Not Pictured: Sarah Vogel, Nicholas Slade, M. Lorena
Gonzalez, Hyeok Kim.  Why is McDonough still a member of this group?.

 
Perhaps the time has come for Northwest Area board members
to consider McDonough’s presence.  Perhaps this process should begin Linda L. Hoeschler, a respected advocate for the arts and underprivileged; Sally Pedersen, the former lieutenant governor of Iowa; and Louis F. Hill, scion of the James J. Hill family.

Shame and Resignation
The Rev. Peter J. Laird was an immediate failure as vicar general.  Courtroom testimony forced his resignation by disclosing the level of activity used to thwart the police. 


Prisoner 240097:  Rev. Curtis Wehmeyer is serving a 5-year prison sentence
at the Minnesota Correctional Facility, Lino, Lakes.  Wehmeyer pled guilty
5 February 2013 to 20 counts
related to child sex abuse and child pornography.
In November 2012, Wehmeyer admitted to one count of second-degree
criminal sexual conduct, punishable by up to 25 years in prison and a possible
$35,000 fine, as well as two counts of fifth-degree criminal sexual conduct,
and 17 counts of possessing child pornography. 
Each of the 17 child porn
counts is punishable by up to five years in prison, a fine of up to $5,000, or
both.  Wehmeyer also was ordered to provide a DNA sample for registration
as a predatory sex offender, and he will be on conditional release for 10 years
after prison. The archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis has asked the Vatican
to laicize Wehmeyer.


 
Nor did Andrew J. Eisenzimmer escape into retirement as the vice chancellor for civil affairs.  An attorney and layman, he is well aware of the evidence and conceit involved to keep the authorities at bay.  When he relinquished his duties to Joseph Kueppers, another lawyer and layman, he merely passed the baton to the next crisis manager. 
 
We have to wonder why men like Eisenzimmer and Kueppers
agree to participate in the level of corruption as implied their
job descriptions.  Representing their client is one thing; failure to meet the minimum ethical standards is something else.  Carlson, McDonough, and Laird, as clergyman have a vested interested in the criminal enterprise, but it’s remarkable that layman continue to work as consigliere.

 
John Vomastek: An American Horror Story
Andrew Eisenzimmer
Vice Chancellor
Civic Affairs
2005-2013
We also question the appropriateness of keeping Vomastek on the job. 

Vomastek is particularly problematic in
this current display of criminal activity
by the archdiocese leadership.  A trained
police office with the City of St. Paul
Police Department
a retired senior
commander, no less
Vomastek is
employed as director of clergy services
within the
Office of the Life and Ministry
of Priests. 


Criminal conspiracy, crisis management,
and personnel difficulties are not the
duties of a training manager or 
continuing
education coordinator. 

In fact, Vomastek’s participation in the cover up of criminal activity by known pedophile priests; lying to investigators; and scrubbing the crime scene for one or more crime scenes, is not within his purview at all.  But Nienstedt must value  Vomastek’s
20-plus-year career with City of St. Paul Police Department in
this crime drama.


Establishing an Alibi
A few days before the 23 June 2012 arrest of the Rev. Curtis Wehmeyer, McDonough began to build an alibi that could be
used to defend himself and the archdiocese.  As the so-called “delegate  for safe environments,” McDonough and Vomastek met with a group of senior Chancery staff — Jennifer Haselberger, vice chancellor for canonical affairs; then-vicar general Peter Laird, and Andrew Eisenzimmer, vice chancellor of civil affairs — to advise them “that the police had been notified and [he and Vomastek] could proceed” to the rectory of Blessed Sacrament Church to tell Wehmeyer that he had been accused of abusing children and must leave the premises. 

Vomastek’s role in this caper is that of the sidekick cop.  Armed with McDonough’s deniability cover, Vomateck is secure in the knowledge that his employment is not compromised. 


The Rev. Mr. John Vomastek and his wife, Cathy, are
the parents of six children.  Vomastek, a permanent
deacon with the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis,
Minn., has engaged in questionable behavior ranging
from obstruction of justice to evidence tampering
in the 2012 arrest of the Rev. Curtis Wehmeyer.
Vomastek continues to work for the archdiocese,
but others associated with the case have resigned:
the perfect role for a retired policman.

 
Wehmeyer was pastor of Blessed Sacrament despite supervision for sexual misconduct:  he molested a 12-year-old boy in the summer of 2010.  In 2009, he pled guilty to a drunk driving and sentenced to 90 days in jail and 2 years supervised probation. 

McDonough and Vomastek rang the doorbell on 21 June 2012 on entering Wehmeyr's rectory.  A parish employee at the scene said they took Wehmeyer into a closed office. A short time later, according to the employee and police accounts, McDonough and Vomastek left the building, and Wehmeyer was left on his own to pack up and move out. 

Wehmeyer was free for the next 28 hours, when police arrested him.  He received a 5-year prison sentence in Feburary 2013 as a result of pleading guilty to 20 counts of child molestation incident and possession of child pornography.

Scrubbing the Crime Scene
According to media reports, McDonough and Vomastek confiscated Wehmeyer’s computer and a gun.

Law enforcement documents would later show that by the time police got to Blessed Sacrament, Wehmeyer was no longer on church property.  McDonough had taken Wehmeyer’s work computer to the chancery and church officials had interviewed
the child who first came forward to allege abuse.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune notes that in the full police report indicates that the first notification by the archdiocese is an e-mail from Vomastek to the head of the sex crimes unit dated, 20 June 2012, 5:58 p.m.  The police record also indicates that on 19 June 2012 a church employee (later identified as Greta Sawyer) “conducted a full interview of [the boy] and made an audio recording of it,” police records said. 

John Vomastek:
Permanent Deacon
Ordained 2010.
A rogue cop caught up
in the pedophile priest
culture of the Roman
Catholic Church.
Vomastek followed up with an e-mail
message to Cmdr. Axel Henry with a
suspect’s name and the name of the
victim’s mother.  The message reads:
“Can you let me know if you have the
original case of a few weeks ago when
I called and if you need any help from
our end?  The person we talked about
will be relieved of duties tomorrow.”
 

“We have NO reports with the names
provided,” Henry responded on the
morning 21 June 2012.
 

“It could be possible that the family
made the report and never gave a
suspect name,” Henry’s note continues.
“If you have the original victim(s) names
that would confirm this.  Otherwise we
will need to go to plan B because we
have no report.”

 
According the archdiocese, Wehmeyer’s name was not mentioned in the original message from Vomastek, but the deacon told Henry that Wehmeyer was the suspect in a telephone conversation before sending the message. 

Church Lady Twaddle
The archdiocese also contends that Vomastek telephoned the police en route to Blessed Sacrament to dismiss Wehmeyer.  Nonetheless, the police file shows that on 21 June 2012, at
11 a.m., while McDonough and Vomastek were reportedly with Wehmeyer, a police detective at the department received “preliminary information” about the abuse.
 

The timeline is important because state law requires “immediate” reporting of suspected child abuse to civil authorities by teachers, clergy members and other “mandated reporters.” Under extenuating circumstances, reports are required “as soon as possible but in no event longer than 24 hours,” according to Minnesota statute. 

The archdiocese contends that the timeline in the police documents is inaccurate and that Chancery staff worked closely with the police. 

Standard Operating Procedures
Rev. Joseph W. Starmann
Diocese of Jefferson City
We’ve seen this type of resolution
management before.  In fact, it’s
standard operating procedure for
the American hierarchy.

We’ve seen this intervention in
the Diocese of Jefferson City, the
Diocese of St. Cloud, and elsewhere.
Obstructing a police investigation is
standard operating procedure for
the United States Conference of
Catholic Bishops. 

Tampering with evidence is another
typical ploy of bishops and those with
career aspirations.  Imposing gag orders
to settle cases and silence witnesses
is a prime victimization tactic.


Jerome G. Hanus, O.S.B., the retired archbishop of Dubuque,
Iowa, intervened in similar cases throughout his tenure as bishop
of St. Cloud, Minn., and worked in concert with the Abbot Jerome
Theisen of St. John’s Abbey, Collegeville, Minn., to protect
predatory Benedictine monks.  He is still a party to multiple
civil suits regarding crimes against children and vulnerable
adults despite the fact that in August 2013 he negotiated reparations with 26 victims (22 males and four females) in the Dubuque archdiocese for $5.2 million.


The Rev. Bede Parry, O.S.B. (center) is one of many sexual predators Jerome
Hanus, O.S.B., archbishop of Dubuque, Iowa, (right) and Gregory J. Polan,
O.S.B., the current abbot of Conception Seminary, have protected.  Parry,
also known as James McKinley, molested members of the boy choir and
students in his care at Conception Abbey and Seminary.  He admitted his
actions to Hanus,  who was the abbot (1973-1979)  of the Nodaway County,
Mo., religious foundation and educational institution.  Parry also confided
that he molested a student in 1981 at St. John University, Collegeville,
Minn., during Hanus’ tenure as bishop of St. Cloud.  It appears that
protecting child predators has served the interests of Archbishop Hanus
throughout his career:  abbot, Conception Abbey (1977-1979); bishop,
St. Cloud, Minn. (1987-1994); and archbishop, Dubuque, Iowa (1995-2013).
 
Hanus is the former abbot (1977-1987) of Conception Abbey, near Kansas City, Mo., as well.  In that capacity, Hanus has protected one monk named, Bede (James McKinley) Parry, since 1981, with the support of his successor, Abbot Gregory J. Polan, O.S.B..  Parry targeted members of the abbey's boy choir and students at the abbey seminary. 

A civil suit filed in 2011 alleged that Hanus supervised Parry at Conception 1973-1979.  Parry told Hanus in 1981 that he had been involved in three inappropriate sexual relationships.  The suit also alleges he admitted a relationship with a student in 1981 while he was at St. John’s.  Parry admitted that incident of sexual misconduct to Theisen and two other monks at St. John’s, the lawsuit claims.

The attorney for two of Parry victims at Conception Abbey deposed Hanus on 25 April 2013 in preparation for trial.  Hanus resigned in 2013, citing ill health.

The Rev. Bede Parry, O.S.B. (third row, far left) Gregory J. Polan, O.S.B. (third
row, second from right), the current leader of Conception Abbey, with members
of the Abbey Boy Choir, c. 1987.  Polan shared Parry's secret with no one;
and
the pedophile monk, also known as James McKinley, continued to molest children
at will
.

Parry, a self-admitted sexual predator, was ordained in 1983 and was accepted as a priest in the Episcopal Church, U.S.A., in 2004.  He resigned his position with the Episcopal Diocese of Nevada in 2011 when his past became public knowledge.

For the record, Hanus settled nine additional cases in March 2007 (seven mails and two females) for $2.6 million.  The reparations are related to sexual molestation involving six priests: Patrick McElliot who served at St. Patrick, Ryan; William Schwartz, Columbus High School, Waterloo; John Brickle and Joseph Patnode, St. Patrick, Nevada; Timothy Devenney, St. Columkille, Dubuque; and Allen Schmitt, Sacred Heart, Waterloo. 

In March 2008, Hanus settled settled 18 cases for $4.7 million.  In February 2006, Hanus settled more sexual abuse claims by paying $5 million to 20 more victims.

The Father Mohan Incident
Msgr. Gerold J. Kaiser
Diocese of Jefferson City
‘Ultimate Company Man’
1916-1987
Michael F. McAuliffe, bishop of
Jefferson City (1969-1997), your
immediate predecessor, engaged
in similar capers with his own
chancellor and vicar general,
Msgr. Gerold J. Kaiser (1916-1987).


As we have described in Childproof 6,
t
he Rev. James J. Mohan, an Irish
native, is known to have molested a
number of youngsters during his last
assignment in 1973 as pastor of
Visitation Church, Vienna, Mo.,
nestled in the foothills of the Ozarks.
He also molested at least one other
youngster at Immaculate Conception
Church in Montgomery City.
 
According to the Rev. Joseph W. Starmann (d. 14 December 2011), in an e-mail message dated 17 November 2004, Mohan disappeared from his Vienna rectory on or about
1 September 1973. 

Kaiser, who shared confidences with Starmann as a close friend, said that he arrived at the parish rectory at midnight, “scooped Mohan up and drove him to Lambert Airport in St. Louis, where [he was] put on a plane for London, England.”  Before boarding, Kaiser also “stuffed” $15,000 in Mohan’s pocket and told the sexual predator not to return the United States.

According to Starmann:
 
“It seems the sheriff of Maries County had a
warrant for Mohan’s arrest, charging him with
the sexual molestation of a couple of teenage
boys.  Though I’m not a lawyer, this smelled to

me of obstruction of justice.”

According to the 2003-2004 Official Directory of the Diocese of Jefferson City, Mohan died 17 March 1990, St. Patrick’s Day.
Kaiser also was involved in a number of other cases such as that of the Rev. James L. Gummersbach. When the Diocese of Jefferson City was created in 1954, Gummersbach Kaiser’s assistant at St. Patrick Church, Rolla, until 1956.  Gummersbach was transferred back to St. Louis in 1963.  In 1999, a jury awarded a Gummersbach victim $1.2 million, but the verdict was reversed on appeal due to Missouri’s restrictive statute of limitations provision.  Gummersbach was not laicized until 2006.

Starmann describe his relationship with Kaiser: 

Kaiser and I were the best of friends (he left me his library in his will) but also the best of enemies.  We fought over just about everything over the years.  We went on vacations together and argued the whole time.  He was an ultra, arch, reactionary, hide-bound conservative; and he was convinced that I was a screaming liberal. 

“He was also the ultimate company man, and sometimes he shocked me with his loyalties:  when Jim Mohan [was] accused in [the] warrant with having molested two teenage boys . . . I accused Kaiser of being a criminal himself, for aiding a fugitive from justice, and he told me in no uncertain terms that he had to do everything possible to protect the Church.  (Sound familiar?)”


McDonough:  Playing Dumb
Rev. Kevin McDonough
Vicar General
Archdiocese
St. Paul-Minneapolis
1991-2008
That’s why it is surprising that McDonough
and Vomastek claim they had permission
from the police to visit Wehmeyer —
permission Vomastek says he received
by telephone from a representative of
the St. Paul police.

McDonough also expects us to believe
that he took the computer because he
wanted to preserve the chain of evidence.
And as the principle authority of the
archdiocese, we do not understand why
McDonough would delegate his job to a
subordinate like Vomastek.  After all,
what’s a little more dirt on those
consecrated hands?

McDonough certainly is practiced art of rationalization, attributing criminal activity to sex addiction and sexual orientation:

“Nothing, nothing, nothing in this man’s behavior known to us would have convinced any reasonable person that he was likely to harm kids.”

McDonough says he has no regrets about his decision making process, but his response to the Wehmeyer case is as inflammatory as his statements are misleading.

Jim Accurso, who said the timeline in the police documents is inaccurate and the archdiocese worked closely with police. “We did not put the police at a disadvantage because they were notified throughout the entire time,’’ he said.

A Fine Bit of Witchcraft
Whatever McDonough proposes to the public, the police, or the prosecutor, we can only say that gthe ability to scare, intimidate, rankle, and inflict psychology damage on the victims of sexual predators is a fine bit of witchcraft . 

We point to the case of the Rev. Richard H. Jeub and McDonough’s role in the cover-up and continued victimization of those attacked by this sexual predator. 

McDonough had been vicar for nearly one year, when Jeub was accused in 1992 of molesting a 15-year-old girl in 1969.  at Our Lady of Grace in Edina, Minnesota Jeub denied allegation. 

Then another woman apprised McDonough that Jeub molested her when she was an adolescent 1967-1970.  She turned down a settlement offer.

Jeub was found in a civil trial not to have engaged in abusive behavior.  Nonetheless, McDonough sent Jeub to St. Luke's Institute, a church-owned organization Silver Springs, Maryland, for evaluation and treatment and the use of psychiatry to care for, protect, and/or “cure” predatory priests. The church operates multiple venues for this purpose such as the Institute of Living, Hartford, Conn.

The archdiocese noted in Jeub’s personnel file that he had a history of exploitative sexual relations with adult women.  According to a psychiatric evaluation, one Jeub’s victims included
a nun he was counseling, a blind woman he was caring for, and
the wife of a patient in a hospital where he worked as chaplain,
among others.


Jeub was removed from full-time parish work 1990-2001, working on special assignment at the Chancery.  He then was allowed to resume his duties, serving at St. Rose of Lima in Roseville, Minn., 1999-2002. He resigned from parish ministry in June 2002 due to the publicity about past accusations.
 
McDonough:  Victims Compromised Again
We believe the observations of others: Ramsey County Attorney John J. Choi and the St. Paul police were not aggressive in pursuing evidence and filing charges.  No search was executed, not files or other evidence was seized, and no one among the archdiocesan staff was deposed or provided testimony under oath.

We believe that a number of disturbing actions are in play:

§  The Rev. Kevin McDonough, then the “delegate
for safe environment” and a former vicar general,
went with Deacon John Vomastek, a retired St. Paul
police senior commander, to “tip off” Wehmeyer
that he was about to be arrested
giving Wehmeyer
a day to potentially destroy evidence and move his
camper to storage in Oakdale.
 

§  McDonough and Vomastek collected from Wehmeyer
his laptop computer and a gun he owned.  They did
not turn over the computer to police until four
days later.
 

§  After archdiocese officials were made aware of
the allegation against Wehmeyer, Nienstedt
directed archdiocese victim advocate Greta
Sawyer to interview the child, instead of
turning the case over to police.

Quid pro Quo:  Obstruction of Justice
John Vomastek
Retired Police Officer
And so we are interested in the reward(s)
Nienstedt and/or McDonough offered
Vomastek for his role
in this 2012
obstruction of justice involving Wehmeyer.

Perhaps Nienstedt promised Vomastek
an aristocratic title from the Vatican:
the cachet of the Roman nobility created
by the papacy over the centuries still
attracts adherents.  “Count” Vomastek
is a temptation that is as imaginative
as it is attractive.

McDonough (and Nienstedt) also could
have promised a papal knighthood
as compensation. 

Membership in the Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint
John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta
is probably too grand
for a St. Paul policeman (the hierarchy is over-populated with

social climbers trying to escape their humble origins; the snobbery
of Raymond Cardinal Burke and Roger Cardinal Mahony would
not allow access to such an outsider).  In actuality, Vomastek

may have been offered the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre
of Jerusalem
, which is readily available to most wealthy donors
in every diocese in the United States (we know of two from
Moberly, Mo).

Ultimately is difficult to reconcile the actions of the family
with the criminal profile and scenario of the Wehmeyer. 

Vomastek is the father of six children.  His 18-year-old daughter
is the youngest member of the family.

We only asked the same question again:  Why are you protecting child molesters, Mr. Vomastek?  Why are you still working for Nienstedt?