April 02, 2005

Diocese settles sex abuse lawsuit

Fort Worth Star-Telegram

By Darren Barbee
Star-Telegram Staff Writer

FORT WORTH - The Fort Worth Roman Catholic Diocese has agreed to a $1.4 million out-of-court settlement with a Texas man who sued the diocese, alleging that a priest molested him when he was a minor.

The lawsuit, filed against the dioceses of Fort Worth and Worcester, Mass., contends that Fort Worth Bishop Joseph P. Delaney knew that the Rev. Thomas Teczar posed a threat to children because of a "sexual interest" in adolescents, according to court documents.

Before moving to the Fort Worth area, Teczar had worked as a priest in the Worcester Diocese, where he was forced out after being accused of inappropriate behavior with a teen-age boy.

Delaney could not be reached for comment Friday. Diocese spokesman Jeff Hensley declined to comment and said Delaney could not speak because he is ill.

As part of the lawsuit, Delaney gave a deposition that states that he was aware of the allegations against Teczar before bringing him to Fort Worth and that Teczar had admitted to Delaney his sexual feelings for adolescent boys.

Teczar worked at parishes in Fort Worth, Bedford and Ranger from the late 1980s until 1993, court documents state. A man who answered the phone at Teczar's home in Dudley, Mass., declined to comment. Teczar is no longer practicing as a priest.

Daniel J. Shea of Houston, an attorney representing the man who says Teczar molested him, said the size of the settlement is commensurate with the damage done to his client. His client, who lives in Texas, is identified by the name John Doe in court filings.

Posted by kshaw at April 2, 2005 04:57 AM