|Priest Facing Abuse Counts Sues Family
Parents, Kids Named in Action
By Edward Munger Jr
November 20, 2008
FONDA — A priest facing felony child sex abuse charges in Montgomery County filed a civil lawsuit this week against the family that made the accusations against him.
The Rev. John W. Broderick, 47, is seeking $500,000, alleging that the family made false statements about him.
In a September indictment, a Montgomery County grand jury lodged three felony counts of second-degree sexual abuse and a misdemeanor count of first-degree unlawfully dealing with a child against Broderick. The indictment charges that Broderick, who authorities said was serving as the Palatine Bridge family's "spiritual adviser," abused three children between October 2005 and May of 2007.
Broderick also is accused of providing alcohol to a person under 21 in 2007.
In his lawsuit, filed Monday in state Supreme Court in Montgomery County, Broderick says his arrest caused him to suffer "loss of reputation, loss of employment, past and prospective, the expenditure of money for legal fees to defend a criminal action and other damages."
The lawsuit names eight members of the family including the parents and their children, ages 5–11.
Broderick's attorney on Wednesday said he could not discuss specifics of his defense against the criminal charges but said he believes his client is not guilty.
He said his client passed a lie detector test "with flying colors."
"I think we're going to win the case in trial. He's innocent; he didn't do these things, he just didn't do them," attorney John J. Broderick said. He said he is not related to his client.
The lawsuit recounts several "defamatory statements" made by members of the family but does not detail when or where they were made.
It says family members alleged that the priest had an affair with the mother in the family, that the priest had a three-person sexual tryst and that the priest had a gay affair with an unnamed person and that the father in the family alleged the priest sexually abused his four sons.
The lawsuit states that the father and eldest daughter claimed the priest and the mother were "plotting with others to put [the father] in a psychiatric facility and oust him from his property" and that they planned to flee to Canada.
"The statements were false at the time that they were made, and the defendants knew that they were false at the time that they were made," the lawsuit states.
A criminal trial in the case is tentatively scheduled for Jan. 26, Broderick's lawyer said.
Attorney John Aretakis, who is representing the family, said Wednesday he believes the lawsuit is a violation of an order of protection issued on behalf of the family.
"I can't believe for the life of me that a priest who works in Albany and is originally from Syracuse would be suing a 6-year-old little boy and his siblings," Aretakis said. He said he believes the civil lawsuit seeking $500,000 is an attempt to intimidate the family.
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