January 05, 2005

SR Diocese sex-abuse suit upheld

The Press Democrat


An Oakland judge has rejected the Catholic Church's first legal attempt to eliminate one of 11 child sex-abuse lawsuits against the Santa Rosa Diocese.

In refusing the diocese's bid to dismiss a suit against a priest who died 14 years ago, Alameda County Superior Court Judge Ronald Sabraw tentatively ruled that another priest may have known of the misconduct and the case consequently can go to trial.

Lawyers for the diocese and the alleged victim, a former Calistoga altar boy, will argue the ruling today in Sabraw's courtroom and a final order will be issued.

The plaintiff, a 48-year-old Amador County man, married and a father of six children, alleges he was repeatedly molested by the Rev. Patrick Gleeson from 1968 to 1972, when Gleeson was pastor at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church in Calistoga.

Gleeson died in 1991 at 66, after serving the previous six years at St. Joseph's Church in Cotati and earlier at St. Apollinaris in Napa.

Posted by kshaw at January 5, 2005 12:30 PM