Catholic Diocese of St. Petersburg Sued for Negligence

BayNews9 [St. Petersburg FL]
July 2, 2003

The Catholic Diocese of St. Petersburg is facing a negligence suit that claims it covered up sexual misconduct from former priest Robert Schaeufele.

The lawsuit, filed by a man who wishes to remain anonymous, alleges that Schaeufele fondled him in 1989, when he was an 11-

year-old parishioner at Holy Cross Catholic Church in St. Petersburg.

The suit says the diocese moved Schaeufele from parish to parish to hide his pattern of abuse. It's the second such lawsuit against the diocese.

In December, a Venice man who said he was sexually abused by Schaeufele more than 20 years ago filed suit against the diocese. That suit identified the victim as former altar boy John Doe and accused Schaeufele of abusing him from about 1977 until 1981 while Schaeufele was a priest at Epiphany Cathedral Church in Venice.

Two weeks ago, a judge sentenced Schaeufele to 60 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to attempted capital sexual battery. He worked at nine churches in the Bay area, including Corpus Christi in Temple Terrace and the Sacred Heart Church in Pinellas Park.


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