Sex-Abuse Lawsuits Filed Too Late, Diocese Claims

Associated Press, carried in Times Union (Albany, NY)
July 19, 2002

Three men who filed lawsuits last month accusing a Roman Catholic priest of sexual misconduct in the 1970s and 1980s were too late in taking legal action, according to diocese officials.

"The basic thrust of the response was that the statute of limitations had long passed," Paul Hanrahan, a Syracuse attorney representing the Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse, told the Observer-Dispatch of Utica.

Frank Policelli, the attorney for the three plaintiffs, said Thursday that no statute of limitations applies because the diocese hid Sewall's alleged misconduct.

Monsignor Charles Sewall, 67, and the diocese were named in three civil suits brought last month by three men who claim Sewall sexually abused them while he was a teacher and principal at Utica's Notre Dame High School. Each lawsuit seeks $20 million in damages. The lawsuits also named current Bishop James Moynihan.


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