Cheyenne Police re-open Catholic Church sex abuse investigation

Published: Aug. 21, 2018 at 5:38 PM CDT
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New information has prompted Cheyenne police to reopen an investigation into allegations of abuse by a Catholic Church official in Cheyenne in the 1970's through the late 1990's.

By Wyoming statute, law enforcement can't name a suspect in the case, however, they did cite an internal investigation by the Wyoming Catholic Diocese as the reason for a new examination of the facts.

That investigation by an outside investigator found credible evidence that Bishop Emeritus Joseph Hart sexually abused two boys while in Wyoming. He served as Auxiliary Bishop of Cheyenne from 1976 through 2001.

Hart was also accused of sexually assaulting boys in the 1970's while he was a priest in Kansas City, but those cases were settled out of court. Hart says he's innocent, but both the diocese of Cheyenne and the Congregation of Bishops in Rome have restricted Hart's activities within the church.

Cheyenne Police say they're looking for any additional potential victims or witnesses, asking them to step forward and help build their case by calling 307-637-6525.