LA CROSSE, Wis. -- A La Crosse County judge has dismissed fraud charges brought against the Diocese of La Crosse that accused them of covering up a priest who allegedly had a history of child abuse.
In a civil case that began in 2008, Brenda Varga said she was assaulted by Father Raymond Bornbach in 1971, and that the Diocese knew Bornbach had a history of abuse, but did nothing about it.
Bornbach was removed from the ministry in 2004, and died in 2006.
Judge Scott Horne dismissed two counts of fraud, saying there was no evidence of a prior sexual assault.
In a statement, Diocese attorney James Birnbaum says "We are grateful that the court ruled what we have maintained from the start: that the Diocese of La Crosse engaged in no fraud toward Brenda Varga in her 41-year-old claims against the Diocese."
"We wish, however, to affirm that child sexual abuse is a despicable crime no matter where it occurs," the statement continues. "The protection and safety of children remains our highest priority."