February 18, 2005

Priest sues own diocese, alleging abuse by priest as teen


Associated Press

PITTSBURGH - A Roman Catholic priest is suing his own diocese, saying he was sexually abused as a teen by a now-deceased priest who taught at his high school.

The Rev. John Nesbella alleges that he was abused more than 25 years ago, when he was 16, at a rectory operated by the Altoona-Johnstown diocese, the diocese said in a statement.

Nesbella says he was abused by The Rev. Martin Brady, his teacher at Bishop Carroll in Ebensburg, according to lawyer Richard Serbin, who represents Nesbella. Brady died March 19, 2003, the diocese said.

"Having one of our priests be a litigant against his own diocesan church and diocesan bishop presents us with a number of difficulties," Bishop Joseph Adamec said in the statement. He said it could be difficult for the diocese to conduct a thorough investigation and for Nesbella to be an effective minister.

"The fact that the accused is deceased makes it next to impossible to confirm the allegation," Adamec said.

Posted by kshaw at February 18, 2005 06:45 PM