Former Wisconsin priest charged with six counts of sexual assaul - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Former Wisconsin priest charged with six counts of sexual assault of a child

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Jefferson County (WQOW) -- A former Fort Atkinson priest has been charged with six counts of second-degree sexual assault of a child.

Reverend William Nolan, 64, was arrested Tuesday.

The alleged victim, a former altar boy, told investigators the assaults by Nolan took place over a five-year span from the ages of 12 to 17, beginning in February of 2006. The incidents occurred in Nolan's office, Nolan's home and the altar boy room at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Fort Atkinson.

The victim reported the sexual assault in last month.

"The assaults are in excess of 100 times. And we are able to specifically recall and follow up and identify six specific cases or situations right now," said Chief Adrian Bump, Fort Atkinson Police Dept. "So the criminal complaint came out earlier today, and on that criminal complaint, you will see that there were six charges that are currently being filed against Father Nolan and they are all related to a sexual assault of a child under the age of 16. That doesn't mean that more charges won't come out in the future. But that's what we have right now."

The Diocese of Madison issued a statement saying, in part:

 "Upon learning of his arrest and pending charges a diocesan representative contacted the Fort Atkinson police assuring them of our full cooperation. Simultaneously, and although Fr. Nolan has been retired since 2007 and does not hold any ecclesiastical office or function, Bishop Morlino placed him on what is commonly called “administrative leave,” as required by the Essential Norms in force in the dioceses of the USA. This includes a total exclusion from any exercise of priestly ministry while the matter is pending. The diocese also began its own canonical process of investigating these allegations, and the diocesan Sexual Abuse Review Board was engaged."

Nolan is free on $50,000 signature bond.

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