October 12, 2005

Former Anchorage priest accused of sexual abuse

The China Post


A man who claims he was molested in his teens by a longtime Roman Catholic priest here has filed a lawsuit against the now retired clergyman and church leaders in Anchorage and Boston.

The plaintiff, identified only as Joseph Doe, is seeking at least $100,000 (83,180) for pain and suffering, with the exact award to be determined at trial.

The lawsuit filed Tuesday names the Rev. Francis Murphy, who had been ordained in Boston before he was assigned in Anchorage in 1966. Other defendants are the archbishops of Anchorage and Boston and the Missionary Society of St. James the Apostle, Boston-based diocesan priests that the plaintiff asserts brokered Murphy's transfer to Alaska

The plaintiff no longer lives in Anchorage and doesn't want to disclose his current whereabouts, said Ken Roosa, an Anchorage attorney who has represented others alleging past abuse by Alaska-based priests. The man, who is now his late 30s, began to face his emotional injuries stemming from the abuse only in the past two years, according to the 18-page lawsuit filed in Superior Court in Anchorage.

"He's angry and he's upset and he's disappointed in his church," Roosa said.

The Archdiocese of Anchorage has said that at least five other people have previously accused Murphy of abuse. Murphy was not immediately available for comment.

Posted by kshaw at October 12, 2005 07:41 AM