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  Man Sues Former Beavercreek Priest
Cincinnati Archdiocese, Archbishop Also Named in Abuse Lawsuit

By Amelia Robinson
Dayton Daily News (Ohio)
March 5, 2004

XENIA - A 39-year-old Cincinnati man has filed a lawsuit claiming a Catholic priest repeatedly molested him as a child while the priest served at a Beavercreek parish.

The man seeks damages in excess of $2 million from the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk and Keith Albrecht, the former priest at St. Luke Church in Beavercreek./ 2002 that Albrecht "essentially conceded the allegation" that he had molested the boy during a counseling session in 1978.

Andriacco and archdiocese attorney Mark Vander Laan said Thursday they had not seen the lawsuit and couldn't comment on it.

The plaintiff's name was not disclosed in the lawsuit filed Thursday in Greene County Common Pleas Court, but the lawsuit claims the abuse occurred in Greene County from 1977 to 1981, when the plaintiff was between 14 and 17.

"He lost his faith. He has had difficult relationships. He has suffered a great deal of anguish in trying to understand why this priest did this to him," said attorney Konrad Kircher of Mason, who is representing the plaintiff and about 80 other clients in southwest Ohio who said they were abused by priests.

Kircher said the plaintiff got to know Albrecht when the priest worked in Cincinnati. He visited Albrecht in Beavercreek after Albrecht transferred there in 1977 to be an associate priest, the attorney said.

The lawsuit was filed despite a new $3 million victims compensation fund, which began taking applications Monday. The fund, created by the archdiocese as part of a plea bargain in a criminal case against the archdiocese in November, isn't open to anyone who is suing the church.

The lawsuit charges the archdiocese with negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, intentional infliction of emotional distress and corrupt activities.

"Albrecht's conduct was so outrageous and conspicuous that defendant Archdiocese was on notice of Albrecht's grossly inappropriate relationship with minors by the late 1970s at the latest," the lawsuit says.

Albrecht was placed on administrative leave in 1993 for an allegation involving a boy at St. Luke. Dan Andriacco, spokesman for the Cincinnati Archdiocese, told the Dayton Daily News in Albrecht, who lives in Cincinnati, did not return phone messages.

In a 2002 Daily News interview, Albrecht admitted having sexual contact with at least four teenage boys, the youngest of whom was 16, and numerous adult males, starting in 1978.

Albrecht is not permitted to represent himself as a priest, wear a collar or celebrate Mass. The archdiocese attempted to defrock him in 1999 after he was caught saying Mass in New York. A three-judge tribunal allowed him to remain a priest; but Pilarczyk declared he would never be reinstated, Albrecht said in the 2002 interview.

Albrecht is among the 14 Cincinnati archdiocese priests who are on leave because of substantiated allegations of sexual misconduct. The U.S. bishops' 2002 "zero tolerance" policy requires that priests be permanently removed from ministry if there has been a single incident of sexual misconduct involving a child.

Andriacco said Thursday none of the accused local priests has asked the Vatican to remove them from the priesthood, and he said he could not comment on whether the archdiocese is attempting to force a church trial to forcibly defrock any of the priests.

 
 

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