January 18, 2005

Abuse case centers on Sparta man

New Jersey Herald

Posted Tuesday, January 18, 2005 by Webmaster

Herald Staff Writer

The alleged events happened nearly 40 years ago, hundreds of miles away, but a recently settled lawsuit has placed a spotlight on one local man’s past.
In a landmark case settled Jan. 5, Lexington, Ky., resident Kay Montgomery and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Covington, Ky., agreed to end a civil lawsuit accusing a Sparta resident of sexual abuse.
Montgomery, who will be paid an undisclosed amount of money, accused Edward J. Fritsch of molesting her on numerous occasions when she was 13.
Fritsch, now president of the Sparta Historical Society, was a Roman Catholic priest. Montgomery was a high school freshman at two different Catholic schools.
Montgomery, now a 52-year-old homemaker, refused to settle her claims unless documents about the church’s decisions to transfer Fritsch from job to job were released. In previous cases throughout the country, such church documents have been kept classified.
“As far as we know it’s the largest amount of money paid to any sexual abuse victim by the Diocese of Covington,” Kentucky lawyer Al Grasch, Montgomery’s attorney, said in a telephone interview Monday.
Still, Grasch and Montgomery said the case was not about the dollars.

Posted by kshaw at January 18, 2005 12:58 PM