Beaverton Woman Sues Archdiocese of Portland

Associated Press State & Local Wire [Woodburn Ore]
May 21, 2002

The Archdiocese of Portland has been hit with two more lawsuits, one from a 40-year-old woman who alleges that a former Woodburn priest sexually abused her in the late 1960s.

The lawsuit, which seeks $2 million, was filed Monday in Marion County Circuit Court on behalf of a woman identified as "M.F."

The suit claims that when the woman was 6 or 7 years old, she was abused at least 10 times by a priest identified as "Father Duffy."

The Rev. Francis "Frank" Duffy was assigned to St. Luke's Parish in Woodburn in 1968, said Mary Jo Tully, chancellor for the Archdiocese of Portland. She could not determine Monday how long he served in Woodburn.

Duffy died in 1992, records show.

"The archdiocese has no record of receiving any complaints against Father Duffy while he was in Woodburn," Tully said.

The woman alleges she was sexually abused in the priest's residence, next to the church.

Monday's filing brought to five the number of plaintiffs suing Marion County priests for alleged sexual abuse that occurred decades ago.

The latest plaintiff, married for 20 years, now lives in Beaverton and works in the computer industry, said her lawyer, Dan Gatti of Salem.

According to the lawsuit, the woman remembers some of the abuse, but has repressed a lot and did not discover the seriousness of Duffy's conduct until the past two years.

Under Oregon law, a sex-abuse victim may sue within three years of the victim's comprehending the impact of the abuse on his or her life.

The lawsuit says the woman suffers from physical and emotional pain, sexual dysfunction and post-traumatic stress disorder.

In another lawsuit filed Monday by Gatti, this one in Multnomah County Circuit Court in Portland, a man identified as "B.G.J."

alleges he was sexually abused by an unnamed priest between 1968 and 1970. The plaintiff, then about 9 or 10 years old, claims he was molested for five or six days at a spiritual retreat near Mount Hood.

The $5 million suit names as defendants the priest, referred to in court papers as "John Doe," and the Archdiocese of Portland, Gatti said


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