March 24, 2005

Dallas lawyer joins team suing Teczar in Texas

Telegram & Gazette


Lawyers representing the two Texas men who allege they were sexually abused by the Rev. Thomas H. Teczar said yesterday that Dallas lawyer Sylvia Demarest has joined the legal team.

Ms. Demarest was involved in the litigation in the 1990s against the Dallas Diocese and the Rev. Rudolph E. Kos, who allegedly sexually abused 11 boys in Dallas from 1981 to 1989. The victims received a multimillion dollar settlement.

Tahira Khan Merritt, also a lawyer involved in the suit against Rev. Kos, and Daniel J. Shea of Houston, who filed the lawsuit against Rev. Thomas H. Teczar on behalf of the two unnamed plaintiffs, said that Ms. Demarest has offered to assist with the civil suit. Judge Len Wade of the Tarrant County District Court in Fort Worth, Texas, ruled on Tuesday that the suit could go forward, denying motions from the dioceses of Worcester and Fort Worth to dismiss the suit.

A mediation session is scheduled for 9 this morning with a court-appointed mediator in Los Colinas, Texas. Unless settlement is reached, the suit is scheduled to go to trial in July.

Ms. Demarest recently transferred 100 boxes of material on 2,600 priests who allegedly were involved in sexual misconduct to the group, which is based in the Boston area. The records, which BishopAccountability said represent about $1 million worth of research and are based on public sources, will be available online. BishopAccountability has compiled a database of all priests who have had allegations of abuse made against them.

The two Texas men allege in their suit that Rev. Teczar sexually abused them in Ranger, Texas, where he was stationed by the Fort Worth Diocese after he left the Worcester Diocese.

Bishop Timothy J. Harrington of Worcester barred him from acting as a priest in the mid-1980s but Bishop Joseph P. Delaney of Fort Worth accepted him into the diocese there.

Named in the suit are Rev. Teczar, who is acting as his own lawyer, the Worcester and Fort Worth dioceses, Bishop Delaney and retired Auxiliary Bishop George E. Rueger of Worcester. Rev. Teczar, who lives in Dudley, is still a priest of the Worcester Diocese and receives monetary support from the diocese, according to a deposition given by former Worcester Bishop Daniel P. Reilly.

Posted by kshaw at March 24, 2005 08:00 AM