February 02, 2006

Justices weigh alleged priest abuse case

The Salt Lake Tribune

By Jessica Ravitz
The Salt Lake Tribune

An attorney told the Utah Supreme Court Wednesday that boys raised to "revere" priests shouldn't be punished for failing to investigate them.
High court justices heard arguments in the case of two Salt Lake City brothers who allege they were sexually abused by a former priest and teacher.
Ralph and Charles Colosimo, now 52 and 44, respectively, sued the Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City and Judge Memorial Catholic High School in 2003. They claimed they were molested in the 1970s by Rev. James F. Rapp, then a teacher at the school, and that both institutions - and possibly others, including the Archdiocese of San Francisco - knew of Rapp's abusive behavior but did nothing to stop him.
Twice, both in the 3rd District Court and the state Court of Appeals, the Colosimos' $80 million lawsuit was dismissed on the grounds that they had waited too long to pursue legal action. Under Utah law, the brothers had until age 22 - four years after they became adults - to file their case. Their lawyer, however, maintains that "the distinct nature of child sex abuse," as well as information learned in recent years, should excuse the case from the traditional statute of limitations.

Posted by kshaw at February 2, 2006 06:45 AM