Father John “Harley” Schmitt
Archdiocese of Denver
Assigned as follows:
- 1941-1946: Blessed Sacrament (Denver, CO)
- 1971-1974: Our Lady of Fatima (Denver, CO)
- 1947-1948: St. Francis Hospital and Sanatorium (Colorado Springs, CO
- 1975-1989: Our Lady of Fatima (Lakewood, CO)
- 1949-1950: Appolonare University (Rome, Italy)
- 1990-1996: Little Sisters of the Poor Home for the Aged (Denver, CO)
- 1951: On Duty Outside the Diocese; Appolonare University (Rome, Italy)
- 1990-2003: Retired (Denver, CO)
- 1952-1970: All Saints (Denver, CO)
Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Fr. John “Harley” Schmitt:
Fr. John “Harley” Schmitt was ordained a priest in 1940, and served in multiple parishes in the Archdiocese of Denver. According to media reports, in October 2019, the Colorado Attorney General released a detailed report of a special investigation into the handling of child sexual abuse allegations by Colorado’s three Catholic dioceses. For the first time, Fr. John “Harley” Schmitt was publicly identified as a priest with multiple documented reports of sexual abuse. According to the documents reviewed by the investigators, Schmitt is accused of molesting both a boy and a girl in his care.
Victim #1 came forward to the Archdiocese of Denver in 2010. She reported that she was abused in the early 1960s while Schmitt was assigned to All Saints in Denver. According to her allegation, Schmitt took her out of class at the grammar school and sexually abused her while she sat on his lap. The Report contains a in-depth analysis of the mishandling of this allegation from start to finish, concluding that the entire experience only served to damage and re-traumatize her.
Victim #2 actually reported his abuse to the Archdiocese of Denver in 1993, nearly 20 years before Victim #1, whose account was deemed “not credible.” As with Victim #1, Victim #2 says he was a 13 year old member of All Saints in Denver when he was abused by Schmitt. The abuse occurred on one occasion.
At the time of the 1993 report, Schmitt was retired and living in a senior home for priests. He retained faculties to minister and the Archdiocese of Denver took no action to limit his ministry.
Schmitt died in 2003.
Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Archdiocese of Denver in Colorado. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Colorado, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Archdiocese of Denver now have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in Colorado and nationwide. We can help.