Judge Rejects Lawyer's Attempt to Delay Trial of Rueger
By Richard Nangle
Telegram & Gazette [Worcester MA]
Downloaded August 1, 2003
Sime J. Braio of Shrewsbury alleges that Auxiliary Bishop George E. Rueger plied him with alcohol and raped him during several visits to a summer vacation home in Scituate in the early 1960s.
According to interrogatories filed in connection with Mr. Braio's lawsuit, Mr. Braio, now 53, says that Bishop Rueger sexually abused him on several occasions, first while the plaintiff was an altar boy at Our Lady of Lourdes parish in Worcester and then while he was at the former Lyman School for Boys in Westboro.
The interrogatories were filed in response to a motion by Mr. Braio's lawyer, Daniel J. Shea of Houston, to postpone action on the lawsuit.
Worcester Superior Court Judge Leila R. Kern denied the motion yesterday. Diocesan lawyer James G. Reardon included the interrogatories with his response to the court. The documents, signed by Mr. Braio July 3, expand upon the allegations he made against Bishop Rueger in his lawsuit against the cleric.
The documents show that Mr. Braio said he has been under psychiatric care for the past 10 years for a panic disorder and that he takes anti-anxiety and anti-depression medication.
"In early 2002, I began to read about the impact of priest abuse on minors and began to connect their stories to what had happened to me," Mr. Braio said in the written answers to questions posed by the diocese.
"Since early 2002, I have been very depressed, suicidal at times, and on one occasion when I visited the Scituate house, I became physically ill and vomited," he said.
Mr. Braio and Mr. Shea made an attempt to find the house about a month ago and settled on 51 Egypt Ave.
The interrogatories detail a number of occasions in which Mr. Braio was hospitalized for heart problems. He says he had a heart attack in 1989 and later suffered a stroke during cardiac catheterization.
During one hospital stay in 1998, Mr. Braio said, he received a visit from Bishop Rueger. He said he was under heavy sedation and does not recall specifics but was told by his physician that he was talking about Bishop Rueger while coming out of anesthesia.
He said that at the time of the alleged rapes he did not believe he had been harmed, because Bishop Rueger told him the acts had "some kind of religious significance. I do not know that mechanism that caused me to put the sexual events out of my mind. However, in early 2002, when I began to read reports of priest victims having drug problems, suicide problems, and the like, I began to put the pieces together that led me to believe, as I do now, that Rueger's conduct was extremely harmful."
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