January 13, 2005

Lawsuit filed in priest's alleged abuse


Thursday, January 13, 2005

By Ben Conery

WATERBURY -- A Massachusetts man who claims his son was raped by a Waterbury Catholic priest is suing church spiritual leaders, institutions and the Worcester County district attorney, alleging they allowed the abuse to occur and failed to do anything about it afterwards.

The man claims the Rev. John J. Szantyr, 73, of 55 Birch Place, raped his son, who was an alter boy. Szantyr threatened to kill the boy's parents if he told them about the attacks, the lawsuit claims. The man's son is not involved in the lawsuit.

Szantyr's attorney and Worcester County District Attorney John J. Conte could not be reached for comment. A lawyer for the Diocese of Worcester said the diocese denies the man's claims.

"His allegations just don't agree with reality," said James Gavin Reardon Jr.

Szantyr already faces three criminal counts of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14. The alleged abuse occurred between Jan. 1, 1986, and Dec. 12, 1987, according to court documents. During that time, Szantyr was a priest at Our Lady of Czestchowa Parish in Worcester, Mass. Szantyr is scheduled to appear in a Massachusetts court on Feb. 17 so a judge can determine if he's competent to stand trial. Last week Szantyr said he has Parkinson's Disease.

Posted by kshaw at January 13, 2005 07:15 AM