January 29, 2005

Lawyer calls sex claims ‘absurd’

East Valley Tribune

By Lawn Griffiths and Toni Laxson
An attorney for Monsignor Dale Fushek of Mesa’s St. Timothy Catholic Community on Friday called the latest accusations of sexual misconduct with a child "an absurd collection of stories . . . to extort money."

The complaint filed Thursday by William J. Cesolini, now 33, of Gilbert, centers on a 1985 assault allegation and also names youth minister Phil Baniewicz of Mesa, who cofounded Life Teen.

Cesolini attributed repressed memories, or dissociative amnesia, for only now stepping forward.

Michael Manning, Fushek’s attorney, called the lawsuit a "reprehensible tragedy" on Friday. It’s an "absurd coll- ection of stories made up for the purpose of trying to extort money," he said. Manning emphasized that Cesolini originally made no mention of Fushek’s presence when his 1985 memories were recalled in 2003.

"Suddenly in 2005, he recovers the memory once again and Monsignor Dale is standing by watching this occur?" Manning asked.

Posted by kshaw at January 29, 2005 09:54 AM