February 15, 2006

Trial dates set for civil suits in priest sex abuse cases

Telegram & Gazette


WORCESTER— Fall trial dates have been set in several civil lawsuits involving allegations of sexual abuse of minors by some priests of the Catholic Diocese of Worcester.

The diocese previously removed from ministry those who were working in parishes who were named in the suits. Three of the priests are retired and three have died. A status meeting on the pending suits was held Jan. 26 before Judge Jeffrey Locke in Worcester Superior Court.

Boston lawyer Carmen L. Durso, who represents a majority of the victims whose cases are slated for trial, said Judge Locke said he would rule soon on whether the diocese will be held to the state’s charitable immunity cap, which would limit payments to the alleged victims to $20,000 each.

Two lawsuits filed by men identified only as John Does against the diocese and the Rev. Raymond P. Messier are scheduled to begin with jury trials Oct. 10 in Worcester Superior Court, unless the lawsuits are settled out of court before then.

Posted by kshaw at February 15, 2006 07:25 AM