Fr. Bruce Ball – Archdiocese of Baltimore

On Behalf of | Mar 20, 2023 | Abuser Profiles, Firm News

Fr. Bruce Ball

Archdiocese of Baltimore/LaCrosse

Bruce Ball Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1978

Laicized: 1997

Died: 2002

Assignment History

  • 1974-1978: St. Mary’s Seminary (Baltimore, MD)
  • 1974-1975: Villa Maria (Timonium) (Baltimore, MD)
  • 1975-1978: Shrine of the Sacred Heart School (Baltimore, MD) 
  • 1978-1980: Our Lady of Peace (Marshfield, WI)
  • 1980-1981: Immaculate Conception (Eau Claire, WI)
  • 1981-1982: St. Thomas More (La Crosse, WI)
  • 1982-1987: St. Vincent De Paul (Wisconsin Rapids, WI)
  • 1987-1991: St. Mary Help of Christians/St. Mary Kilian (Colby, WI)
  • 1991-1997: Absent on Leave in prison

Summary of Abuse Allegations Against Father Bruce Ball

Father Bruce Ball was a Catholic priest who worked in multiple parishes in the Archdiocese of Baltimore in Maryland and the Diocese of La Crosse in Wisconsin. In 2002, Fr. Ball was listed on the Archdiocese of Baltimore’s Credibly Accused of Sexual Abuse of Minors list. In April 2023, Maryland’s Attorney General released a report alleging 156 Catholic clergy members sexually abused at least 600 children over six decades. The report lists the names of the abusers, including Fr. Ball.

According to the AG’s report, Fr. Ball was convicted of child sexual abuse in Wisconsin, but there are records of two victims in Baltimore when Ball was at the Shrine of the Sacred Heart. In 1990, a victim notified the Wisconsin Diocese of being sexually abused by Father Ball from 1976 to 1978, while Ball was assigned to the Shrine of the Sacred Heart in Baltimore City and again after Ball moved to Wisconsin in 1980. The reports claim that Father Ball fondled him during physicals while at gym class and would wrestle with him and other children at the school. While “wrestling,” Ball would touch his penis and ask the victim to touch his. Fr. Ball was a friend of the family and also wrestled and touched the victim’s penis in his family’s home. In 1980, the victim and his brother visited Ball in Wisconsin overnight, and Fr. Ball ran around with them while naked and then fondled the victim’s genitals in bed that night. Additionally, Ball came to Baltimore for a visit around 1990 and brought two young boys from Wisconsin with him. 

In 1991, in Clark County, Wisconsin, Ball touched a 12-year-old boy’s penis on multiple occasions and dared two boys to expose their penises. He was criminally charged in 1991 with child sexual abuse based on that conduct. He admitted to sexually abusing four boys while at the parish. 

In 2002, a second victim contacted the Archdiocese and said that Father Ball sexually abused him when he was a student at the Shrine of the Sacred Heart between 1975 and 1978. Bishop Accountability notes that Fr. Ball was removed from St. Mary’s Help of Christians in late 1991 after allegations surfaced that Ball sexually abused multiple boys aged 12-14 and subsequently arrested. Records indicate that in 1993, the La Crosse Diocese told Baltimore of two claims against Ball when he was a La Crosse seminarian in Baltimore in the mid-1970s. Ball pleaded no contest in 1993 to a charge of sexual contact with a 12-year-old boy during a therapy session. Since then, there have been four known victims. Ball was sentenced to five years in prison and released in 1996. Ball was laicized at his own request in 1997. Fr. Ball was named on La Crosse Diocese’s list in 2020 and Baltimore’s list of credibly accused. Fr. Ball lived in Wisconsin until he died in 2002.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Archdiocese of Baltimore in Maryland. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Maryland, contact our office today. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse nationwide. We can help. Contact us at 888-283-9922 or [email protected] to discuss your options today.