February 18, 2005

Court tosses church sex abuse suit

New York Newsday


February 17, 2005, 8:21 PM EST

The Appellate Division in Brooklyn has thrown out a lawsuit brought by 34 people who claimed that, as children, they had been abused by priests in Brooklyn and Queens.

The Feb. 7 decision, which affirmed a 2003 ruling by the state Supreme Court, ruled the suit was time-barred because too many years had passed since the alleged molestations.

The decision was hailed by church officials but described as "an absolutely devastating blow" by Michael Dowd, the plaintiffs' attorney, as well as by victims groups, who have argued such statutes should be suspended in cases of childhood sex abuse.

"This is, to my mind, a terrible, terrible injustice to have these people cut off on an extraordinarly technical ground," Dowd said. "To deny these people the opportunity to even be heard about the wrongs done to them is an intolerably cruel determination."

Posted by kshaw at February 18, 2005 09:03 AM