October 27, 2005

Sioux Falls Diocese Sex Abuse Lawsuit Update


There are new developments in a sexual abuse lawsuit filed against the Sioux Falls Catholic Diocese. Judy DeLonga claims Father Bruce MacArthur sexually abused her in the 1960s in Wisconsin, while he was on leave from the diocese.

DeLonga filed a lawsuit in 2003, but earlier this week, a federal judge in Sioux Falls dismissed the case, after the court received a settlement document electronically signed by all of the parties. But DeLonga's attorneys say they never agreed to a final settlement.

DeLonga and her attorneys first found out about the dismissal when they were called today by the media. They say they reached an initial settlement, but never agreed to anything final.

Judy DeLonga says the actions of a man she trusted more than 40 years ago still cause her pain. And news her lawsuit has been dismissed is an unexpected setback in her search for justice.

"It's disappointing," said DeLonda. "It's not final yet, but just to hear that was disappointing."

The two sides don't agree that the settlement they reached in principle was ever actually finalized. Delonga's attorney says he's still negotiating settlement terms.

Posted by kshaw at October 27, 2005 09:27 AM