Diocese of Madison backtracks

MADISON (WKOW) -- The Diocese of Madison now says it had an 'involved' conversation with Janesville police back in 2015 regarding sexual assault allegations against Father William Nolan. 

The clarification comes after 27 News first obtained parts of the 2015 police report, detailing a time in which an adult man said Nolan had him over to watch a football game and have drinks at Nolan's house. The alleged victim said he was drunk and Nolan allegedly sexually assaulted him. 

The detective on the case was documenting a conversation with Kevin Phelan, the Chancellor for the Diocese at the time. Phelan told police about the alleged encounter between Nolan and the reported victim. Phelan also told police the Diocese was paying for behavioral therapy for the alleged victim. 

Janesville Police closed that case and no arrest or charges came from it. 

On Monday, before the police report was made public, Diocese spokesman Brent King said, "Janesville PD contacted us in 2015 asking simply to be put in touch with Fr. Bill Nolan."

Then, on Friday, the Diocese released a statement clarifying two inaccurate statements. 

In the latest statement, King said Phelan "did have a more involved conversation" with Janesville Police "regarding an allegation involving Rev. William Nolan."

In part, King stated, "We incorrectly stated that the phone conversation focused solely on contact information for Rev. Nolan. Secondly, during that conversation, it’s now our understanding the officer would likely have used language with Mr. Phelan indicating that the officer was investigating an allegation against Rev. Nolan. While charges were never filed against Fr. Nolan regarding that allegation, it was incorrect to say that nobody in the diocese had ever heard there was an allegation of misconduct against Fr. Nolan made to the Janesville Police Department."

Diocese officials apologized for the incorrect statement and said they are now investigating "the reasons for the lack of correct information." 

Nolan is currently facing separate charges for allegedly sexually assaulting an altar boy in Jefferson County. 

For more on this story: http://www.wkow.com/story/38281770/2018/05/25/diocese-backtracks-had-involved-talk-with-janesville-police-over-fr-nolan

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