Diocese Settles Lawsuit Alleging Abuse by Priest

Orlando Sentinel [Florida]
April 5, 2000

Bridgeport, Conn. - The Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport said Tuesday that it settled a lawsuit brought by a former altar boy who alleged he was sexually abused by a priest some 35 years ago. The settlement, filed in New Haven Superior Court on March 21 but not made public until this week, ended the highest-profile case of alleged abuse by a priest in Connecticut - one that previously resulted in a $1 million verdict against the diocese. Former altar boy Frank Martinelli, who now runs a consulting business near Milwaukee, filed his lawsuit in 1993. He charged that when he was an altar boy at St. Cecilia Church in Stamford, Conn., he was sexually abused by the Rev. Lawrence Brett from 1962 to 1964. Martinelli, 52, testified during his 1997 trial that he repressed his memory of abuse until 1991, when he spoke to an old friend who said he was also abused as a child by Brett.


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