Judge Sets Date for Woman's Suit against Diocese

The News-Sentinel
December 5, 1991

A judge set a trial date yesterday in a lawsuit filed by a woman who contends a Roman Catholic priest sexually assaulted her during her elementary schools years in the mid-1960s.

Judge George N. Beamer, a St. Joseph Superior Court judge in the Mishawaka division, set the case for trial Nov. 10, 1992, although a question over statute of limitations remains unresolved. Lawyers for the priest and the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend say personal injury suits can be filed no later than two years after the alleged incident. The woman, now in her mid-30s, says the priest assaulted her repeatedly from 1963 to 1966, when she attended first through third grades at a diocese parochial school.

The priest and the diocese deny the allegations.

It's the second lawsuit in two months filed against the diocese in which sexual abuse by a priest has been alleged. In November, a lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court by an Allen County man seeking an unspecified amount in damages from former priest James Blume, the diocese and Bishop John M. D'Arcy. The man, who lives in Massachusetts, alleged in the lawsuit that Blume in 1982 began having sexual relations with him when he was 14, and those activities continued over a three-year period.

Blume, who now lives in Ohio, resigned from the priesthood in 1989.

He had served at St. John the Baptist Church in New Haven and later at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception and St. Andrew's and St. Hyacinth's.


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