Suit Accuses Priest of Sexual Assault

Sun-Sentinel [Fort Lauderdale FL]
December 24, 2002

An anonymous Palm Beach County woman filed a lawsuit Monday against a priest who taught at Cardinal Newman High School in West Palm Beach alleging she was sexually assaulted 10 times while a 17-year-old student in the early 1970s.

The suit alleges the Rev. Charles Cassetta was the girl's teacher and student adviser at the time. He could not be located for comment.

The woman repressed the memory of the attacks until April, when she remembered them during psychotherapy, according to the suit. Also named as defendants are the Archdiocese of Miami, Archbishop John Favalora, the Diocese of Palm Beach and its bishop, Sean O'Malley.

The archdiocese was responsible for running the school until the Diocese of Palm Beach was created in 1984. Church officials could not be reached for comment late Monday.

Diocese of Palm Beach spokesman Sam Barbaro said he didn't know whether Cassetta, who is not listed in local church directories, is still an active priest. He said church officials would cooperate if there is a police investigation.


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