Monsignor Bernard McGarty was convicted of disorderly conduct this week but denies the underlying allegations of indecent conduct with a massage therapist.

“I totally deny (it),” McGarty said Thursday.

The 89-year-old retired priest pleaded no contest Monday in Wausau Municipal Court and paid a $250 fine for the non-criminal citation.

McGarty was not arrested but was issued a $250 ticket for lifting the covering off of his groin during a massage and asking the masseuse to rub his genitals. The massage therapist refused and left the room, she told Wausau police. McGarty also called her a derogatory name, she told police.

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“I categorically deny saying anything inappropriate to the masseuse,” McGarty said. “The statement by the policeman is a total fabrication and it is the biggest piece of fiction since ‘Gone With the Wind.’”

McGarty said he entered the no contest plea — in which he denies guilt but concedes he would likely be convicted — “because it’s a minor violation ... and I just want to move forward.”

The Diocese of La Crosse barred McGarty from public ministry after news of his citation. In a statement, a spokesman said now that the civil charges have been resolved, the diocese will begin its investigation in accordance with its sexual misconduct procedures. McGarty will remain barred from public ministry during the investigation.

McGarty has served in several leadership positions in the diocese. He was also a visiting scholar of ecumenical studies at Viterbo University, which severed ties with him after the incident.

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(15) comments


He's just another sexual predator... The fact that the church is a perfect cover for them draws them to it like flies on rotting flesh


Forced Celibacy is just another unbiblical rule that will have great potential to turn out bad. Anullment of marriage is another example of a man made idea (fromRome), pay a fee to the church to get out of a marriage is opposite of what the Bible says for marriage. The problem is not the Priests, its the problem of a man made unbibical religion. Love the Catholics but it is crucial they read Gods word and not follow Rome's often heretical ways. See John 3 16 for a good place to start. We should pray for this Priest because he is one of Gods creations like all the rest of us who has fallen to sin it appears,only God knows.

Joe Hill


At least it seems the diocese acted quickly.


ONLY because he was caught!


Catholics and Moslems, thank you. Your endless series of abominations makes life so simple for us atheists...

"This is common or garden stuff, very familiar to American and Australian and Irish Catholics whose children's rape and torture, and the cover-up of same by the tactic of moving rapists and torturers from parish to parish, has been painstakingly and comprehensively exposed."


"In 2001, Pope John Paul II placed this department in charge of the investigation of child rape and torture by Catholic priests. In May of that year, Ratzinger issued a confidential letter to every bishop. In it, he reminded them of the extreme gravity of a certain crime. But that crime was the reporting of the rape and torture."


What does one expect, of course anyone with a possible link to sexual misconduct will deny wrong doing. Including,believing the predictor over the women, because after all.....fill in the reason.


What do you mean "Denies Wrongdoing" ???? Didn't he admit to exposing himself and asking for her to oil and rub his genitals??? If he didn't do anything wrong, then why did he plea No Contest?? Innocent people fight for their reputation let alone. That's just the average person, a Priest these days have to keep their reputation intact considering all that has happened in the past. Confession is good for the soul and his confession cost him $250 and his reputation and he should be asked to retire !!!


This is certainly an unfortunate situation, but I sincerely hope it does not overshadow the good he has done. This piling on by all of those who have certainly never made a mistake seems quite unwarranted.


he is a worm


He is what's wrong with the Church. He should be in prison! You can bet this is not the first time. He just got caught!

Mi scusi

Him and Bill Cosby. Disgusting.




Grandiose. Entitled. When people believe they can lead others and guide the way, there is reason for skepticism.

david clohessy

Let's hope that anyone else who may have seen, suspected or suffered crimes by this cleric or cover ups by his church supervisors will have the courage to call police, expose wrongdoing and protect others.

David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com, davidgclohessy@gmail.com)
Statement by Barbara


Man of god or John??

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