March 02, 2005

Sexual Abuse Case Filed Against Logan County Priest


POSTED: 5:41 pm CST March 2, 2005
UPDATED: 6:13 pm CST March 2, 2005

LOGAN COUNTY, Ark. -- On top of the more than 1,000 new allegations of abuse cases reported in the Catholic Church nationwide, a new case has been filed in the Hometown area.

As 40/29's Beth Burnett reported Wednesday, the case involves a priest and a former student at Subiaco Academy -- a Catholic school in Logan County. The alleged abuse took place in 1976, and officialssaid the alleged victim in the case waited until he was an adult to file his complaint.

According to the federal lawsuit filed in Fort Smith, Joffre J. Miller claims that the Rev. Nicholas Fuhrmann, who worked as a priest at Subiaco Academy, sexually abused him. Miller now lives in Texas.

A complaint filed by Miller's attorneys says that "in the course and scope as teacher and boxing coach, Furhmann exploited his authority and position over Joffre and thereby gained access to Joffre's body using the pretext of massaging him due to the strains of boxing." The complaint goes on to allege that "massages led to Fuhrmann sexually molesting Joffre from 1976 until 1979."

Fuhrmann and the school are both listed as defendants in the case. Miller is asking for more than $75,000 in damages.

Posted by kshaw at March 2, 2005 06:41 PM