February 10, 2005

Sexual abuse claims against Tucson Diocese nears 50

Fox 11

03:20 PM MST on Thursday, February 10, 2005

By Stephanie Innes / Arizona Daily Star

By week's end, a total of nearly 50 claims from people alleging sexual abuse by local clergy are expected to be filed in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson's federal Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization case.

The deadline for filing claims is April 15 and the diocese's bankruptcy plan could be confirmed this summer, according to lawyers representing the diocese who appeared in court Thursday for a hearing in front of federal bankruptcy judge Judge James M. Marlar.

"This is a great model of how a Chapter 11 reorganization ought to be run - at least to this point," Marlar told lawyers during the hearing.

The nearly 50 claims include 22 lawsuits already filed by 34 plaintiffs alleging sexual abuse by clergy. The other claims have been received since the diocese filed for bankruptcy protection and began publicizing the April 15 deadline.

Also in the hearing, Marlar took issue with a proposal from attorney A. Bates Butler III - the "unknown claims representative" for the case - to hire an outside consulting firm to help him determine how many people will come forward after April 15 with claims they were abused by clergy as children but repressed memory prevented them from coming forward earlier.

Posted by kshaw at February 10, 2005 07:20 PM