Judge Upholds Dismissal of Lawsuit Alleging Priest Abuse

Associated Press
April 25, 2003

A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by a man who said a priest molested him more than 20 years ago.

Charles Hartz Jr., 38, who lives in Michigan, alleged in his lawsuit against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Greensburg that he was sexually assaulted by the Rev. Gregory Premoshis when Hartz was a student at Geibel Catholic High School in Connellsville in 1981 and 1982.

Hartz was seeking more than $535,000 in damages against the diocese, Bishop Anthony Bosco and Premoshis, who was a teacher and later president of the school. Premoshis stepped down in March 2002, and Bosco, last summer, affirmed a review board's recommendation that he be barred from public ministry or from publicly representing himself as a priest.

Early this month, U.S. Magistrate Ila Jeanne Sensenich ruled that Pennsylvania law does not allow such suits to be filed more than two years after the alleged acts. She recommended the lawsuit be dismissed.

This week, U.S. District Judge Terrence McVerry agreed, formally dismissing the case.

Hartz's lawyer, Helen Kotler, said there were other issues that might nullify the statute of limitations, including a failure on the part of the priest to report abuse allegations.

She said Hartz is considering whether to appeal the dismissal.


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