Brothers File Lawsuit Alleging Abuse by Priest in the 1960s

Associated Press State & Local Wire
May 30, 2002

Two brothers who say they were sexually abused by their childhood priest over three years in the 1960s have sued him and the Youngstown Roman Catholic Diocese.

Thomas and Vincent Casey, of Youngstown, accuse the diocese of covering up the alleged abuse by Monsignor Robert E. Reidy.

The suit, filed Wednesday in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court, seeks unspecified damages from the diocese, Reidy and Bishop Thomas Tobin.

Diocesan Chancellor Nancy Yuhasz could not be reached for comment after business hours Thursday. Reidy also could not be reached.

The suit says Reidy befriended the Caseys in 1965 while their father was dying, often visiting their home with money, food and other items for the family.

During the next three years, Reidy abused the boys at their Struthers home, the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit also alleges he also took them on trips, abusing them during overnight stays in several states.

Youngstown lawyer Michael P. Marando said in the lawsuit Reidy took advantage of the boys, who were vulnerable during their father's illness. Thomas Casey Sr. died in 1968.

Reidy, 66, served as associate pastor at St. Nicholas Church in Struthers from 1965 to 1966. He later served churches in Canton and Alliance and was a chaplain in the Navy for 26 years. Since 1999, he has been pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church of Niles.

Yuhasz told The (Youngstown) Vindicator that Reidy was removed from the ministry after allegations of abuse came to light, and he retired April 2. He will no longer be able to act publicly as a priest but will be able to celebrate Mass and other sacraments privately, she said.

Marando said the brothers both are married and have children of their own. He said each had repressed memories of the abuse for years, not telling anyone about it until about a year ago.

Marando said he hoped to resolve the matter without having to file a lawsuit, but "there didn't appear to be any interest on the part of the diocese."

The diocese only offered to provide pastoral counseling for the Caseys, he said.


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