April 08, 2005

Diocese settles 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 $2.75 million out-of-court settlement with a second Texas man who said he was sexually abused by the Rev. Thomas Teczar.

The settlement follows a $1.4 million settlement with another Texas man. Both men accused Teczar of groping and raping them in the early 1990s in Ranger. Teczar served in several parishes in the diocese, including Fort Worth, Bedford and Ranger, from 1988 until 1993.

The diocese agreed to the settlement Tuesday at the advice of its attorneys after ``weighing the options and considering the uncertainty of litigation,'' according to a statement released to the Star-Telegram on Thursday.

The money was paid from insurance coverage and the diocese, according to the statement. The man's attorney, Tahira Khan Merritt of Dallas, could not be reached for comment. Her client was identified as John Doe II in the suit. He was 12[ years old] when the abuse began, according to court documents.

The lawsuit, filed in April 2003 against the dioceses of Fort Worth and Worcester, Mass., alleged that Fort Worth Bishop Joseph Delaney knew that Teczar posed a threat to children because of his ``sexual interest'' in adolescents. Delaney could not be reached for further comment.

Posted by kshaw at April 8, 2005 04:49 AM