Spotlight on abuse: Donald George Shissler

By | April 6, 2022

Nashotah House graduate Donald George Shissler was ordained to the priesthood in 1962 and served as vicar of Christ Episcopal Church, Aspen, from 1961 to 1963. He was listed as a non-parochial priest of the Episcopal Diocese of Colorado from 1963 until his arrest in 2002 on two counts of sexual assault against foster children. His guilty plea in that case was overturned and he was charged again in 2007 with 15 counts of child sexual assault against foster children as young as six. According to the Associated Press, “Denver District Judge Martin Egelhoff called the case the worst of its kind he had ever seen and said Shissler still did not think he had done anything wrong.” Shissler’s Denver foster parent license was issued in 1985 and revoked 1992 over allegations he was regularly nude in front of minors at his address given in the Episcopal Clerical Directory. The police search of Shissler’s home found large amounts of child pornography videos and photographs of foster children and others. Shissler claimed he was a foster parent to 27 children over 17 years. Although he remained canonically resident in the Episcopal Diocese of Colorado from 1961 to 2002, a diocesan spokesman said after Shissler’s sentencing that it had been unable to locate any information regarding sexual misconduct during his 1961-1963 tenure as a deacon in charge and parish priest. He was sentenced in 2007 to 210 years in Colorado prison.


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