Priest Accused of Abuse Denies Man's Allegations

Indianapolis Star [Gary IN]
February 13, 2005

Gary -- A Roman Catholic priest accused of sexually abusing a Florida teenager more than a decade ago has denied the allegations through his attorney.

The Rev. Richard Emerson vehemently denies the allegations and, in fact, has an unblemished 26-year record as a priest, said his attorney, James F. Gilbride, of Miami.

In January, a 29-year-old man filed a civil lawsuit seeking unspecified monetary damages from the dioceses of Gary and of Orlando. The man alleges that Emerson repeatedly molested him from the time he was 11 in 1986 until he was nearly 18.

Emerson was assigned to St. Charles Borromeo Church in Orlando when the abuse allegedly occurred on trips to Key West, Fla.; Chicago; Colorado; and Indiana over the seven-year period.

The lawsuit filed in Florida's Orange County Circuit Court alleges the Gary Diocese received similar complaints involving other young boys but concealed them and took no action.

The Rev. Brian Chadwick, a spokesman for the Diocese of Gary, said Friday that the diocese vigorously denies the charges and intends to defend against them.


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