Sexual abuse allegations force 3 Peoria priests from public ministry

PEORIA, Illinois,- Three priests have been stripped of their positions as Catholic priests by the Diocese of Peoria.

The following former priests have credible allegations of sexual abuse against a minor.

  1. Fr. George Hiland
  2. Fr. Duane Leclercq
  3. Fr. John Onderko

According to the Catholic Diocese of Peoria:

"Hiland is alleged to have engaged in sexual misconduct with a minor approximately fifty
years ago."

"Leclercq has been alleged to have engaged in sexual misconduct with a minor
approximately thirty years ago."

"Onderko has been alleged to have engaged in sexual misconduct with a minor
approximately fifty-five years ago. "

The Peoria Diocese said that "Upon the unanimous advice of the Diocesan Review Commission" they decided to strip the priests.

The decision means that effective immediately, Hiland, Leclercq, and Onderko can no longer function as Catholic
priests in any public capacity.

This includes wearing clerical garb or the Roman collar, and they may no longer use the title of Reverend or Father.

George Hiland’s assignments while serving in the Diocese of Peoria included:

St.Stephen, Streator (1958-1971), St. Patrick, Arlington (1971-1976), St. John the Baptist, Fairbury and St. James, Forrest (1976-1992), St. Patrick, Dwight (1992-1994), Senior Status (1994).

Duane Leclercq’s assignments while serving in the Diocese of Peoria included:

HolyTrinity, Bloomington (1964-1968), St. Mark, Peoria (1968-1971), St. Mary, Moline (1971-1973), St. Vincent de Paul, Peoria (1973-1976), Sacre Coeur, Creve Coeur (1976-1979), St. Edward, Chillicothe (1979-1982), Director of Teens Encounter Christ, with residence at St. Bernard, Peoria (1982-1983), St. John, Clinton, and St. Patrick, Wapella(1983-1989), St. Theresa, Earlville (1989-1991), St. Boniface, Peoria (1991-1994), St. Patrick, Dwight (1994), St. Patrick, LaSalle (1994-2003), Sacred Heart, Granville and St.Patrick, Hennepin (2003-2008), Senior Status (2008).

John Onderko’s assignments while serving in the Diocese of Peoria included:

St.Hyacinth, LaSalle (1962), Sacre Coeur, Creve Coeur (1962-1965), St. Hyacinth (1965-1980), Holy Cross, Mendota, and Sts. Peter and Paul, Peterstown (1980-1981), St. Mary, Moline (1981-1993), Resurrection, LaSalle (1993-2005), Senior Status (2005).

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