Lawsuit Claims Judge Pushed for Settlement
Mary Ryan Wants the State Supreme Court to Step into the Case and Review Orders Issued by Judge Robert Krause in a Civil Suit against the Diocese of Providence
Associated Press, carried in Providence Journal-Bulletin
May 17, 2003
Providence - A Burrillville woman says a Superior Court judge tried to pressure her to settle a civil suit against the Diocese of Providence and a late priest convicted of raping her.
Mary Ryan has asked the state Supreme Court to step into the case and review orders issued by Judge Robert Krause, according to court documents. The high court will consider the requests on May 22.
Ryan is the only one of 38 alleged victims of sexual abuse in Rhode Island who did not join a $14.25-million settlement with the diocese, announced last September.
She turned down a $400,000 offer from the diocese in March to settle her suit. Ryan told Krause then she wanted to continue with her 1995 lawsuit against the diocese and the late Monsignor Louis Ward Dunn.
In court documents dated May 12, Ryan said she is pursuing the case because she wants to prove diocesan officials knew about Dunn's criminal behavior.
Ryan claimed in court documents that Krause "has continued to subject plaintiffs to embarrassment in the courtroom and has relentlessly attempted to coerce them to settle."
Krause declined to comment on Ryan's allegations.
William T. Murphy, a lawyer for the diocese, said he sees no reason for the Supreme Court to step into the case.
Ryan, a mother of four, wants the high court to review two rulings issued by Krause last month. One denied her motion that the diocese be forced to respond to requests for documents. Murphy says such information would be limited to affidavits from people who wish statements they made to a priest or investigator to remain private.
The other order by Krause refused to delay consideration of the defendants' motion that Ryan's case be dismissed.
Lawyers for the church claim Ryan's case was filed after a three-year statute of limitations. Krause would not say whether he would consider dismissing the case before the Supreme Court reviews Ryan's requests.
Krause had given Ryan until yesterday to respond to the motion for dismissal. Ryan did not immediately return a call to her home seeking comment.
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