July 30, 2005

Priest's defamation lawsuit against accuser heads to trial

Duluth News Tribune

Associated Press

MADISON, Wis. - A Catholic priest's defamation lawsuit against a man who claims the priest abused him as a boy heads to trial in Janesville on Monday.

The case will pit supporters of the priest, the Rev. Gerald Vosen, against advocates for victims of clergy sexual abuse who say the lawsuit is retaliation against a victim.

While hundreds of people have sued priests during the Catholic church's sexual abuse crisis over the past few years, observers say it's unusual for a priest to sue - especially when a church investigation has called the allegation in question credible.

Vosen, on administrative leave from his job as pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Baraboo, and his supporters have disputed the abuse allegation and say they look forward to proving it false in court. The lawsuit names the man and his parents and claims their allegation ruined his reputation.

Posted by kshaw at July 30, 2005 05:56 PM