Church in Crisis
The Rev. Daniel Emerine

Louisville Courier-Journal
September 29, 2002

[See the main page of this special section on the Church in Crisis.]

The Conventual Franciscan priest is accused of abuse in six lawsuits against the Archdiocese of Louisville. One of those also names the Conventual Franciscans' Province of Our Lady of Consolation as a defendant. Beginning in 1951, Emerine spent about 15 years at St. Paul, where he was assigned during all of the abuse alleged in the lawsuits. He was ordained in 1941 and died in 1986, according to his order.


PLAINTIFF: David T. Boone
AGE: 52
ADDRESS: St. Matthews
DEFENDANT: Archdiocese of Louisville
DATE AND LOCATION OF ALLEGED ABUSE: 1960 to 1964, sacristy, robe room, confessional and rectory office at St. Paul
ACCUSATION: Fondling, verbal abuse
DETAILS OF ALLEGATION: Boone said that in the fifth through eighth grades, Emerine verbally or physically abused him more than 20 times. He said Emerine fondled him more than 15 times, usually after Mass when Boone would be invited to the rectory for projects like stuffing bulletins. Emerine would say he loved Boone or needed to check his physical development, Boone said. Verbal abuse occurred in confession, when Emerine sought details when Boone said he confessed to masturbation, Boone said.
WAS ANYONE TOLD? Some fellow altar boys. He said he tried to tell his parents but was cut off by a sibling.
IN THE PLAINTIFF'S WORDS: "It's something that I've lived with and endured. I'm tired of it. I wish he was alive, so we could stand face to face and I could say: 'Why did you do this?' I lost my religion. I'm not going to say I lost my faith."

PLAINTIFF: George Esterle
AGE: 54
ADDRESS: Sellersburg, Ind.
DEFENDANTS: Archdiocese of Louisville and Conventual Franciscans' Province of Our Lady of Consolation
DATE AND LOCATION OF ALLEGED ABUSE: 1961 or 1962, St. Paul rectory
DETAILS OF ALLEGATION: Esterle said he worked maintenance at St. Paul one summer when he was 14. He said Emerine fondled him once.
IN THE PLAINTIFF'S WORDS: "Father Dan said it was OK for him to do it."

PLAINTIFF: Mark Stephen Garrett
AGE: 52
ADDRESS: Port Richey, Fla.
OCCUPATION: Department manager at home improvement store
DEFENDANT: Archdiocese of Louisville
DATE AND LOCATION OF ALLEGED ABUSE: 1960 to 1963, Emerine's office and school bathroom at St. Paul
ACCUSATION: Fondling, exposure
DETAILS OF ALLEGATION: Garrett said that about six or seven times beginning when Garrett was 11 and in the fifth grade through the eighth grade Emerine fondled him several times and exposed himself twice.
WAS ANYONE TOLD? In sixth grade, Garrett said he told a nun who took holy water out of a supply closet and began splashing him with it. In eighth grade, he said, he told a different nun that he didn't want to go to the rectory to pick up chance cards for a church fund-raiser because he didn't want Emerine touching him. In 1964, when he was a freshman at Bishop David High School, he said he told a priest, who regularly bought gas at Garrett's father's station.
IN THE PLAINTIFF'S WORDS: "I cannot look at a priest saying Mass any more and feel comfortable."

PLAINTIFF: Dorothy Valeria Cooper Hart
AGE: 50
ADDRESS: New Albany
OCCUPATION: Real estate agent
DEFENDANT: Archdiocese of Louisville
ACCUSATION: Fondling, exposure
DETAILS OF ALLEGATION: Between ages 6 and 8, in first grade and through the beginning of third grade, Hart said that Emerine would abuse her when she went to clean the church during school.
WAS ANYONE TOLD? Hart said she told her second-grade teacher, who responded that Father Dan loved her just as God loves her. In third grade, she complained to her parents and she said her father went to the school, but she doesn't know with whom he spoke. Her father told her it would never happen again, and they moved to Bullitt County shortly thereafter.
IN THE PLAINTIFF'S WORDS: "It's horrible, and I just hope that it saves some other child from going through what I went through."

PLAINTIFF: Bruce E. Ottersbach
AGE: 51
ADDRESS: Marysville, Ind.
OCCUPATION: President and chief executive officer, Ottersbach Enterprises Inc. heating, cooling and refrigeration business.
DEFENDANT: Archdiocese of Louisville
DATE AND LOCATION OF ALLEGED ABUSE: 1960 to 1964, St. Paul sacristy and rectory
ACCUSATION: Fondling, masturbation
DETAILS OF ALLEGATION: Emerine began abusing Ottersbach when he was 9, he said. The abuse occured in Emerine's office, he said. After serving Mass, Ottersbach said, Emerine would pull the boy's face into his crotch and keep it there as he gave a blessing.
WAS ANYONE TOLD? Ottersbach said he told a relative, who was the church's business manager. But the relative said Ottersbach was making it up and not to say anything because he would get in trouble. Ottersbach declined to name the relative.
IN THE PLAINTIFF'S WORDS: "That bitter pill has been in my mouth for 42 years. And I didn't know that there was an avenue until all of this came out."

PLAINTIFF: George Clay Soete (declined to be interviewed)
DEFENDANT: Archdiocese of Louisville
DATE AND LOCATION OF ALLEGED ABUSE: 1954 and 1955, unspecified location


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