January 06, 2005

Archdiocese faces new complaints of sexual abuse

Seattle Post-Intelligencer


The Seattle Archdiocese has been hit with four new legal complaints from 10 men charging that its priests sexually abused them during the 1970s and '80s.

Two of the priests -- James McGreal and David Linehan -- already have been forbidden by Rome to minister and both have been the subjects of prior lawsuits.

The status of one, the Rev. G. Barry Ashwell, is still pending. A popular pastor who served at St. Augustine's Church in Oak Harbor for more than two decades, Ashwell has been the subject of several prior complaints alleging sexual abuse, each of which he has denied.

The other priest, the Rev. John Forrester -- described in the legal papers as "a compulsive pedophile" -- is deceased.

Spokesman Greg Magnoni said the archdiocese was aware of all four complaints and hoped to settle them without going to trial.

Posted by kshaw at January 6, 2005 07:12 AM