February 16, 2005

St. Vincent Archabbey settles sex abuse civil


By Matthew Junker
Wednesday, February 16, 2005

A Centre County woman has settled a lawsuit against St. Vincent Archabbey, while her son continues to press his claim that he was sexually abused by priests.

Mary Bonson, of Port Matilda, filed a civil suit in 2003 seeking damages in excess of $30,000 against the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese and Bishop Joseph V. Adamec, former Bishop James Hogan and the Benedictine Society of Westmoreland County alleging that her son John Morrison, of State College, was abused between 1980 and 1982.

Westmoreland County Judge Gary P. Caruso ruled last year that two other priests who were defendants in the case -- the Rev. Athanasius Cherry, former pastor of St. Vincent Basilica, and the Rev. Andrew Campbell, a faculty member at St. Vincent College -- could not have intentionally inflicted emotional distress upon Bonson even if the allegations were true. The case against those two monks was thrown out.

Bonson reached a financial settlement to close the case on Dec. 30. Her lawyer, Helen R. Kotler, declined to release the amount of the settlement until her client gave her approval. No confidentiality agreement was signed as part of the settlement, Kotler said.

Posted by kshaw at February 16, 2005 04:11 AM