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Ex-priest still holds medical licenses in Kansas, Missouri

September 24, 2018

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A former Kansas priest still holds medical licenses in Kansas and Missouri despite being defrocked this year after the Archdiocese of Kansas City determined that he abused three minors decades ago.

The Missouri Board of Registration for the Healing Arts is investigating the allegations against John Wisner, 71, who remains a licensed psychiatrist in both states. The Kansas board declined to comment on whether it was looking into Wisner’s case, the Kansas City Star reported.

The archdiocese announced in 2012 that it had received multiple allegations that Wisner had sexually abused minors. The archdiocese received a complaint from a 45-year-old man who alleged Wisner had inappropriately touched him in 1982 on a youth outing when he was 15. The archdiocese also investigated two more allegations from men in their 40s.

The archdiocese conducted an investigation and found the allegations to be credible. Wisner was never criminally charged in the cases.

Wisner served as a Catholic priest for more than 45 years. He declined to comment on the allegations or the investigation.

“This is a matter of protecting the public,” said Patrick Wall, a former Catholic priest who works as an investigator for a Minnesota law firm that represents sex abuse victims. “Just because he was granted a medical license at one time doesn’t mean he has a right to have it for life.”

Wall said that the Kansas archdiocese should’ve reported Wisner to licensing boards when it learned of the allegations six years ago. It is unclear if Wisner is still practicing medicine.

The Kansas archdiocese reported earlier this year that Archbishop Joseph Naumann issued a decree returning Wisner to the lay state.

Wisner had also served as an expert witness in many civil and criminal trials, including high-profile murder cases and those involving sexual abuse.

Wisner, who was ordained in 1972, worked at Sacred Heart and Christ the King parishes in Kansas City, as well as St. Joseph Parish in Shawnee. He joined the University of Kansas Medical Center in 1979 and later taught at the medical school. He retired from the university in 2012, the same year that the archdiocese uncovered the allegations made against him.

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Information from: The Kansas City Star, http://www.kcstar.com

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