April 12 Hearing Set for Abuse Allegations

Legal Intelligencer
March 30, 1994

A judge scheduled an April 12 meeting to review issues in a Nebraska woman's allegations that a Roman Catholic priest molested her three decades ago when she was a child.

U.S. District Judge D. Brooks Smith on Monday refused to dismiss a lawsuit by the Omaha woman against the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese, two churches and the Rev. Joseph Strittmatter.

A telephone call to the Altoona-Johnstown diocese was unanswered early yesterday.

Church attorneys said the lawsuit was invalid because a 2-year statute of limitations had passed. But Smith said he didn't have enough information to support a dismissal.

The 38-year-old woman's attorney said the limit should not apply in this case because she only recently remembered encounters with Strittmatter. The memories came as she saw a therapist in 1991, her lawsuit said.

Strittmatter recently retired in Altoona. The woman alleged that he molested her at St. Agnes in Clinton County and St. John the Baptist in Somerset County several times from 1961 to 1969.


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