March 16, 2005

Clergy-abuse victims 'devastated' by ruling

Philadelphia Daily News


Will the victims of sexual abuse by priests ever find justice in the criminal or civil courts?

That's a question some people were asking after a three-judge state appellate panel on Monday turned down 18 sexual abuse victims seeking to sue the Archdiocese of Philadelphia in civil court for harboring Catholic priests and one nun who allegedly abused them as children.

While the panel's decision was not unexpected, it was still a blow to victims.

"Absolutely devastating," reacted John Salveson, head of the local Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests.

"The message is 'You can rape kids and protect your rapist and as long as you slip past the statute of limitations, everything is cool,' " he added.

"The number one priority has to be changing the statute of limitations" in Pennsylvania, said Salveson, a Bryn Mawr businessman who says he was molested as a boy by a priest.

Posted by kshaw at March 16, 2005 05:37 AM