April 08, 2005

Settlement clears therapist from case

Honolulu Star-Bulletin

By Debra Barayuga

A Hawaii man who accused a Catholic priest of sexually assaulting him 28 years ago has reached a settlement with a therapist who counseled him after he reported the abuse.

Eugene Saulibio, whose complaint of sexual misconduct led to the dismissal of Rev. Joseph Bukoski, sued the priest and his order, the Fathers of the Sacred Hearts, in May 2003 for intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress, among other claims.

Also named as a defendant in the suit was Sister Claudia Wong, a family and marriage therapist who counseled Saulibio after he came forward with his claims in May 2002.

Wong, in court papers, asked the court to rule that the settlement had been reached in good faith. Circuit Judge Bert Ayabe granted the request without objection by the parties on Wednesday and dismissed Wong from the lawsuit.

Under the settlement, Wong will pay Saulibio $50,000 and issue a letter of apology for the pain he suffered as a result of their May 27, 2002 meeting.

Posted by kshaw at April 8, 2005 09:21 AM