|Diocese Loses Lawsuit in Priest Sex Abuse Case
By Daniel Tepfer
November 20, 2010
A state Superior Court judge in Waterbury Friday issued a judgment against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport in a lawsuit brought by a man who claimed he was abused by a priest at a Trumbull church in the 1980s.
Judge William Cremins issued the judgment without a trial for the plaintiff, who is only identified in court papers as "David Doe," after the diocese did not comply with the judge's order to turn over hundreds of secret documents purporting to detail abuse of children by priests at St. Theresa's Church.
"We are very pleased that our state court judges will not be intimidated by the stonewalling and bullying tactics of the Catholic church," said Joel Faxon, who represents the plaintiff in the lawsuit.
Diocese officials did not immediately return phone calls for comment.
If the diocese does not successfully appeal the judgment, the judge would then decide how much money to penalize the diocese for the case.
In January 2009, Faxon filed the lawsuit on behalf of the Trumbull man against the diocese, claiming the plaintiff was severely abused by the Rev. John Castaldo in the 1980s. The suit claimed while a parish priest at St. Theresa's, Castaldo repeatedly forced the then-child to perform oral sex and also, under extreme threat and intimidation, attacked the boy for purposes of his own deviant sexual gratification.
The lawsuit also claimed Castaldo's superiors in diocese, including former Archbishop Edward Egan, knew about his "bizarre sexual proclivities" and not only did nothing about it, but proceeded to hire and promote Castaldo as fully fit to carry out his duties in the church, including those involving children.
All this occurred despite the fact that prior to Castaldo's assignment at St. Theresa's, there were very disturbing psychological assessments documenting that Castaldo "was fearful of his own aggressive drives," and was preoccupied with his "unresolved sexual urges," according to previously released court documents. Previously, documents showed Castaldo was expelled from his seminary for "remarkable bizarre behavior" of which the seminary's president-rector warned the Bridgeport Roman Catholic Diocese.
Two other lawsuits were filed against the diocese claiming abuse by Castaldo.
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