Diocese Negotiating As Estate Presses Suit

By Daniel Tepfer
Connecticut Post
November 1, 2005

BRIDGEPORT — The family of a deceased Oxford man is suing the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport, claiming a priest abused him in the late 1960s.

But a diocese spokesman said it is already working to settle the case.

"The Diocese of Bridgeport is working with the attorneys for the plaintiff's estate and expects to achieve a resolution," said the spokesman, Joseph McAleer.

The lawsuit, filed last week in Superior Court here, claims Kenneth Kuchta was abused at a church here by the Rev. Raymond Pcolka.

In the past, 16 people claimed they were sexually assaulted by Pcolka in church rectories in Bridgeport and Stratford, and at a cabin in New Hampshire where Pcolka would take children in the 1970s and early 1980s.

The claims resulted in the diocese paying out millions in settlements. Pcolka was suspended after the complaints were made public and is living in Southbury.

Cindy Robinson, of the Bridgeport law firm Tremont and Sheldon, which represented more than two dozen people who received settlements for abuse claims, said Kuchta died in July 2004 but his family agreed to carry on his claim against the diocese.

She said Kuchta was an altar boy at St. John Nepomucene Church in Bridgeport and was abused by Pcolka at the church from 1968 to 1973.

Pcolka was a key figure in the priest sex abuse scandal that has dogged the Catholic Church in the last decade.

A suit filed in 1993 naming Pcolka as a defendant spurred a wave of lawsuits in Connecticut by plaintiffs who said they were abused by Pcolka and other priests but were afraid until that point to come forward



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