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Egan Resources – Tremont & Sheldon Materials

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Sexual Abuse by Priests

http://www.tremont-sheldon.com/church/chu_main.htm
Downloaded 11/17/03

Citizens of Connecticut were shocked in January of 1993 when two lawsuits were brought on behalf of individuals who were sexually abused by Father Raymond Pcolka, a Catholic Priest in the Diocese of Bridgeport. Over the next two months, fifteen additional individuals stepped forward claiming that they too were sexually abused by Father Pcolka. The media reported that these abuses, which included rape and sodomy, occurred in Roman Catholic convents, rectory bedrooms and sacristies throughout three parishes in Fairfield County for over a decade while these children were acting as altar boys or involved in the Catholic Youth Organization.

The Diocese's initial response to the lawsuits was to file gag orders in court preventing public access to information relating to the sexual abuses of its priests. Over the next eight (8) years, additional survivors of childhood clergy sex abuse came forward and were represented by Tremont & Sheldon. In August 1999, a claim that occurred in 1993, on Bishop Egan's watch, was brought against the Diocese of Bridgeport and Bishop Egan, once again involving the offenses of Father Federici. Cardinal Egan has already been deposed twice in connection with these claims.

From the beginning, Tremont & Sheldon has claimed that the there has been an ongoing cover up regarding clergy sex abuse in this Diocese - instead of removing the perpetrator from the priesthood, he would be summarily transferred to another parish. Tremont & Sheldon believes that the Diocese of Bridgeport, including Cardinal Egan, allowed known sex abusers to continue on as active priests, enabling these offenders to have contact with children.

In March 2001, Tremont & Sheldon achieved a global settlement with the Diocese of Bridgeport and its predecessor bishop, Cardinal Edward Egan in connection with over twenty (20) clergy sex abuse lawsuits, some of which have been pending for over eight (8) years. The settlement was accomplished through a lengthy mediation process in which United States Magistrate Judge William I. Garfinkel in Bridgeport, CT graciously agreed to serve as the mediator. All of these cases involve claims of individuals, who, as children were sexually abused by one of the following six (6) Bridgeport Diocesan priests: Father Raymond Pcolka, Father Martin Federici, Father Charles Carr, Father William Coleman; Father Joseph Gorecki and most recently a claim against Father Joseph Malloy of St. Ann's in Bridgeport, CT. In June of 1999, Tremont & Sheldon settled another claim against the Diocese of Bridgeport involving a minor who was sexually abused by Father Martin Federici. Twenty-six (26) survivors of childhood clergy sexual abuse are included in this settlement, which includes abuses beginning in the late 1960's and continuing into the early 1990's, during Cardinal Egan's tenure as Bishop with the Diocese. Tremont & Sheldon represented twenty-four (24) of the plaintiffs.

In the summer of 2002, Tremont & Sheldon resolved three (3) additional claims for persons who were sexually abused as minors by priests of the Diocese of Bridgeport. The three (3) offending priests were Charles Stubbs, Charles Carr, and Joseph Moore.

In October 2002, the law firm of Tremont & Sheldon reached an agreement with Bishop William Lori and the Diocese of Bridgeport to attempt resolution of numerous new clergy sex abuse cases involving former child parishioners who were sexually abused by priests within the Diocese of Bridgeport. United States Magistrate Judge William I. Garfinkel has once again agreed to assist in resolving these matters.

The most recent mediation that is ongoing includes over forty (40) victims represented by the law firm who were sexually molested by ten (10) priests within the Diocese of Bridgeport. As a result of pending statutes of limitations, Tremont & Sheldon has filed six (6) lawsuits involving claims against Monsignor Charles Stubbs, Father Martin Federici, Father Alfred Bietighofer and Father Joseph Gorecki. These lawsuits were filed in order to preserve the rights of the victims during the pending mediation. Tremont & Sheldon had previously represented victims who had been abused by all four priests. In addition claims have been made against Fathers Richard Grady, Alfred Bietighofer, Joseph Deshan, William Donovan, Albert McGoldrick, Sherman Gray, Robert Morrissey and Raymond Pcolka.

Tremont & Sheldon has been retained by more than ten individuals with claims of sexual abuse against priests in the Archdiocese of Hartford. Lawsuits have been filed against the Archdiocese involving Father Thomas Glynn, Kenneth Shiner and Stephen Foley.



Brief History of Cases

http://www.tremont-sheldon.com/church/chu_main2.htm
Downloaded 11/17/03

The information presented here documents a chronology of events in the clergy sexual assault cases.

Brief History of Cases: 1993

January 4, 1993:
Date of the lawsuit: S.S. & B.F. v. Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport, et al. Notice of Deposition filed for Father Raymond Pcolka ordering that he appear on February 15, 1993. Father Pcolka never appears.

January 26, 1993:
Diocese files Motion for Change of Venue and Motion for Protective Order requesting the Court to preclude the taking of depositions and enter gag orders regarding the dissemination of information discovered in the lawsuit.

February 16, 1993:
Eleven additional victims come forward. Date of the lawsuit: G. R., et al v. Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport, et al. Notice of Deposition filed for Father Raymond Pcolka ordering that he appear on April 7, 1993. He does not appear for the deposition.

February 18, 1993:
Diocese files Motion to Transfer and Motion for Protective Order requesting the Court to preclude the taking of depositions and enter gag orders regarding the dissemination of information discovered in the lawsuit.

March 1, 1993:
Hearing held before the Honorable Eugene Spear.

July 29, 1993:
Diocese files Motion claiming that the lawsuits are time-barred and should be dismissed.

August 30, 1993:
Honorable Samuel Freedman hears argument.

September 13, 1993:
Judge Freedman denies the Diocese's Motion.

September 24, 1993:
Diocese files Motion for Reconsideration and Modification regarding Judge Freedman's 9/13/93 decision.

October 8, 1993:
Judge Freedman denies the Diocese's Motion for Reconsideration and Modification.

Brief History of Cases: 1994

March 16, 1994:
Judge Spear denies all of the Diocese and Priest Motions for Protective Order.

March 23, 1994:
Plaintiffs Re-Notice the Deposition of Father Pcolka for March 31, 1994 and Notice the Deposition of Bishop Curtis for April 4, 1994. They do not appear.

March 28, 1994:
Diocese files a Motion requesting a Stay in the Proceedings and Further Protective Orders Precluding the depositions.

April 22, 1994:
Diocese and Pcolka file Joint Appeals Re: Judge Spear's 3/16/94 Decision.

April 29, 1994:
Plaintiffs' file Motion to Dismiss Appeals.

July 7, 1994:
Diocese and Pcolka Withdraw their Appeals.

August 22, 1994:
Plaintiffs Notice the Depositions of Father Pcolka for September 19, 1994; Bishop Curtis for September 20, 1994; Bishop Egan for September 20, 1994; They do not appear at the depositions.

September 14, 1994:
Diocese files Motions for Postponement of Depositions and for Protective Orders Barring Dissemination of Material Revealed in Discovery Process and Precluding Production of Confidential Documents, i.e., specifically relating to instances of sexual misconduct of priests within the Bridgeport Diocese.

September 29, 1994:
Diocese files Motion to Quash Subpoenas Duces Tecum directed to Msgr. Laurence Bronkiewicz and Msgr. Frank Wissel which specifically seek files in the Secret Archives.

October 3, 1994:
Oral Argument before Honorable Bruce Levin November 14, 1994.

December 8, 1994:
Decision of Judge Levin precluding dissemination of materials and testimony revealed produced and/or generated by defendants and preventing plaintiffs from having complete access to Pcolka personnel file including documentation relating to psychiatric treatment.

December 16, 1994:
Plaintiffs Notice deposition of Pcolka for December 28, 1994. He does not appear.

December 28, 1994:
Plaintiffs Notice the deposition of Pcolka for January 16, 1995.

Brief History of Cases: 1995

January 16, 1995:
Partial Deposition of Pcolka takes place. At that time, Pcolka refuses to answer over 100 questions primarily claiming privilege against self-incrimination.

January 20, 1995:
Plaintiffs file Motion to Compel Pcolka to answer deposition questions.

January 25, 1995:
Judge Levin issues Notice of Disclosed and Undisclosed Documents of Pcolka file.

January 31, 1995:
T. P. v. Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport, et al. Return Date for new lawsuit brought in Federal Court re: clergy sexual abuse by Pcolka.

February 28, 1995:
R. R. v. Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport, et al. Return date for new law suit re: clergy sexual abuse by Pcolka.

February 28, 1995:
P. T., et al v. Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport, et al. Return date for new law suit by two victims of clergy sexual abuse perpetrated by Father Joseph Gorecki, deceased.

April 25, 1995:
S.P v. Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport, et al. Return Date of new law suit by victim of clergy sexual abuse by Father Charles Carr.

May 30, 1995:
JF v. Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport, et al. Return Date of new law suit by second victim of clergy sexual abuse by Father Charles Carr.

May 31, 1995:
Judge Levin renders decision basically denying Plaintiffs' Motion to Compel Pcolka to answer deposition questions.

June 30, 1995:
Plaintiffs Renotice Depositions of Father Pcolka for July 24, 1995; Monsignor Bronkiewicz for July 24, 1995; Bishop Curtis for July 31, 1995.

July 5, 1995:
Plaintiffs' Renotice Depositions of Father Pcolka for July 25, 1995; Monsignor Bronkiewicz for July 25, 1995.

July 31, 1995:
Deposition of Bishop Curtis takes place. The Bishop refuses to answer questions specifically relating to sexual misconduct complaints against priests within Bridgeport Diocese.

August 8, 1995:
Plaintiffs' file a Motion to Compel the Bishop to Answer.

August 28, 1995:
MD v. Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport, et al. Return Date for new law suit by another victim of clergy sexual abuse by Father Gorecki.

October 31, 1995:
Judge Levin grants the Plaintiffs' Motion to Compel.

November 20, 1995:
Plaintiff's Renotice the Deposition of Bishop Curtis for December 18, 1995.

November 20, 1995:
Diocese files Motion for Reargument and Reconsideration of Judge Levin's 10/31/95 Decision.

December 26, 1995:
J. H. v. Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport, et al. Return Date for new law suit by victim of clergy sexual abuse by Father Walter Coleman.

Brief History of Cases: 1996

June 3, 1996:
Judge Levin has a hearing on Diocese's Motion to Preclude plaintiffs from asking Bishop Curtis about sexual abuse of children other than Father Pcolka.

June 6, 1996:
Judge Levin denies Diocese's motion.

June 7, 1996:
Plaintiff's notice Bishop Curtis' deposition to occur on June 20, 1996 at hospital where he resides due to his deteriorating health. He does not appear.

June 8, 1996:
Diocese files a Motion for Reconsideration of the June 6, 1996 order and the deposition is again canceled.

June 13, 1996:
Plaintiffs object to Diocese's Motion for Reconsideration. Plaintiffs claim that the Diocese is trying to make Bishop Curtis' deposition moot because of his age.

June 24, 1996:
Judge Levin once again hears the Diocese's argument against producing Bishop Curtis for a deposition.

June 27, 1996:
Judge Levin once again denies the Diocese's argument and orders the deposition to go forward and that Bishop Curtis is to answer questions about all priests specifically named by the plaintiffs in the Diocese who have sexually abused children.

June 27, 1996:
Plaintiffs once again notice Bishop Curtis' deposition. This time it is to be held on July 17, 1996 but does not go forward.

June 28, 1996:
The attorneys for Bishop Edward Egan and Bishop Walter Curtis file a motion to stay Bishop Curtis's deposition claiming that the deposition would place an undue burden on the Diocese's ability to exercise its first amendment right to practice religion.

July 3, 1996:
The plaintiffs file a Motion to Compel Bishop Curtis to be made to attend a deposition.

July 23, 1996:
In one of the most significant hearings before Judge Levin, Joseph Sweeney, attorney for Bishop Edward Egan and Walter Curtis argues against Bishop Curtis being forced to answer questions about priests sexually abusing children other than those in the lawsuit. Mr. Sweeney argued to the court that, "We have some priests who are not the subject of any pending lawsuit. We have priests about whom there may have been some complaints in the distant past which have been dealt with in the ways that had to be dealt with ...that in fact whenever claims of sexual misconduct are public about a priest as a practical matter he's got to be taken off the line of duty because of the impact that kind of publication can have on a person's ability to continue in the priestly ministry."

Mr. Sweeney continued, "Now this can have quite an impact on the Diocese because the Diocese has 88 parish churches which it must attempt to staff with priests. If we get rolling on this thing there is real potential for Mr. Tremont to bring out enough dirt from the distant past about enough priests to cripple the Diocese in its ability to staff its local churches." Mr. Sweeney added, "(O)nce the genie is out of the bottle that's it."

Judge Levin orders for the fourth time that Bishop Curtis be made to attend his deposition.

August 8, 1996:
The continuation of the deposition of Bishop Walter Curtis is held at St. Joseph's Manor in Trumbull, CT, a nursing home to which he was recently moved. As a result of the request of the attorneys for Bishop Egan and Bishop Curtis, the deposition testimony has been sealed from public viewing.

August 13, 1996:
The case of JD v. Father Martin J. Federici is commenced in the Judicial District of Ansonia at Milford, CT.

August 13, 1996:
The plaintiffs issue deposition notices for Bishop Edward Egan, Msgr. Andrew Cusack, Father Michael Palmer, Father Walter Coleman, Father Stanley Koziol, and Deacon Robert Becker for depositions to be held the last week of August.

August 16, 1996:
Diocese files motion with the court asking the court to seal any information obtained through the deposition of Father Koziol. At the same time, the Diocese moves to postpone the deposition of Father Koziol.

August 27, 1996:
The plaintiffs file a Motion for Contempt against the defendants Diocese of Bridgeport and Bishop Walter Curtis for violating various orders of the Court.

August 28, 1996:
The plaintiffs object to the postponement of any depositions.

September 16, 1996:
The Diocese of Bridgeport files Motions to Seal the Courtrooms to prevent the public and the press from attending any court proceedings.

September 19, 1996:
The plaintiffs object to closing the courtrooms.

September 24, 1996:
A new lawsuit is filed on behalf of J. K. against Father Coleman. The case is returned to the Bridgeport Superior Court.

September 24, 1996:
A case is brought on behalf of J.M. against Father Martin Federici.

September 26, 1996:
The Diocese moves for Summary Judgment against the plaintiffs. In addition, the Diocese moves to Quash a Subpoena which has been served upon Bishop Walter Curtis. Further, the Diocese moves to Quash a Subpoena served upon its Public Relations Official Tom Drohan.

October 11, 1996:
The plaintiffs Re-notice the Deposition of Bishop Walter Curtis to be held on October 30, 1996.

October 31, 1996:
The plaintiffs Re-notice the Deposition of Father Koziol for November 12,1996.

November 26, 1996:
A lawsuit is brought on behalf of M.B. against Father Raymond Pcolka.

Brief History of Cases: 1997

January 16, 1997:
The Diocese moves for Summary Judgment again.

January 16, 1997:
The plaintiffs file objections to the Diocese Motions for Summary Judgment.

January 31, 1997:
The defendants file the Affidavit of Monsignor William A. Genuario.

Febuary 4, 1997:
The defendant Raymond Pcolka moves to Quash a Subpoena compelling him to attend a hearing at the Bridgeport Superior Court.

Febuary 18, 1997:
The plaintiffs Notice the Deposition of Monsignor William A. Genuario for February 27, 1997.

Febuary 25, 1997:
The plaintiffs again Notice the Deposition of Monsignor William A. Genuario for March 4, 1997.

March 6, 1997:
The plaintiffs Re-notice the Deposition of Monsignor William A. Genuario to continue his deposition which was not finished on March 4, 1997.

March 11, 1997:
A lawsuit is filed by M.F. against Monsignor Gregory Smith.

March 17, 1997:
Plaintiffs move to Amend their Answer and Special Defenses.

March 24, 1997:
Judge Janet Bond Arterton, a United States District Court Judge from the District of Connecticut rules that the Diocese has in fact fraudulently concealed from the public its knowledge that Father Lawrence Brett had sexually abused children. She finds that the Diocese intentionally deceived the public by advising the public that Father Brett took a leave of absence because he had hepatitis. Further, she finds that the Diocese may in fact be responsible for the activities of Father Brett when he sexually abused the minors.

March 25, 1997:
Plaintiffs file a Supplemental Memorandum of Law in Opposition to the Diocese Motions for summary Judgment.

March 27, 1997:
Diocese objects to allowing the plaintiffs to Amend their Special Defenses.

April 1, 1997:
A lawsuit is filed on behalf of M.M. against Father Charles Carr.

April 1, 1997:
The plaintiffs Notice the Deposition of Bishop Edward Egan to occur on April 9, 1997.

April 8, 1997:
The Connecticut Post reports that "Vatican told Diocese to act on priest sex abuse cases". According to The Post article, the Vatican warned the Bridgeport Roman Catholic Diocese more than 30 years ago to take responsibility for the actions of priests accused of sexually abusing children, according to a letter released in court on April 7, 1997. The letter was released, according to The Post, at the hearing on April 7, 1997, a hearing which the Diocese of Bridgeport had sought to seal from the public. The Post article reported that a dozen of the victims of the sexual abuse watched the hearing from the jury box. According to the Post article, T. Paul Tremont contended that since 1964 the Diocese had received complaints that its priests were sexually abusing children, but either ignored the complaints or covered them up, sending the offending priests to other parishes. The Post reported that Attorney Paul Tremont who represents the plaintiffs, cited to the judge hearing the matter several other alleged complaints that were made to Diocesan officials by parents of children who claim they had been abused by priests. Mr. Tremont went on to claim that there were more complaints that Bishop Curtis had testified to at a deposition but that he had destroyed them. The Post also reported that Father Martin Federici and Father Raymond Pcolka had pled the Fifth Amendment to all questions posed to them at their depositions other than testifying as to their opinion of the meaning of celibacy. According to The Post article, both priests said "celibacy prevents them from marrying, not from having sexual relationship with minors." In response Tom Drohan, spokesman for the Diocese said that "the Church absolutely disagrees with the position taken by these priests."

April 9, 1997:
The Connecticut Post reports on the hearing which was held on the previous day, April 8, 1997. The Post summarizes the arguments by the plaintiffs as Bishop Curtis testified that he had the Vicar of Clergy try to convince families to keep quiet about abuse that occurred against their children by priests within the Diocese. Further, Bishop Curtis testified that he would move priests who had been so accused to other parishes for a "fresh start". The Post also reported that Monsignor Andrew Cusack had testified that he received 2 complaints of abuse involving the Reverend Martin Federici, including a complaint which was made to the Westport Police but was never passed on to the Priest Personnel Board. The Post also reported that Monsignor Andrew Cusack testified that he assigned Father Charles Carr to a boys' high school after getting complaints that Father Carr had abused young boys.

July 31, 1997:
The Court rules on the Motions for Summary Judgment filed by the Diocese. The Honorable George Thim grants the motions for summary judgment in favor of the Diocese on the counts of the complaint alleging civil conspiracy and vicarious liability. However, the Court denies the Motion for Summary Judgment as to the negligence count. The Court holds that the cases are to go to trial so that a jury may decide whether the Diocese acted reasonably in protecting children from sexual abuse.

August 26, 1997:
The plaintiffs again notice the deposition of Bishop Egan.

September 15, 1997:
The Court grants the Motion for Summary Judgment filed by the Diocese seeking to dismiss lawsuits filed by seven plaintiffs. The Court finds that the suits of the seven are barred by the statute of limitations as they were brought after the 35th birthday of each of the victims. However, the claims of the remaining plaintiffs are not affected.

September 17, 1997:
The plaintiffs notice the depositions of Father Palmer, Father Koziol, Deacon Becker, as well as the deposition of the Bishop’s secretary.

October 7, 1997:
Bishop Egan is deposed. The transcript is sealed by the Court at the request of the Bishop and his attorneys.

October 16, 1997:
The plaintiffs issue a subpoena for Monsignor Laurence Bronkiewicz, Vicar of Clergy and Religious commanding him to appear at a deposition and to bring with him all complaints and records held by the Diocese of its priests sexually abusing children.

October 23, 1997:
The Diocese of Bridgeport files a Motion for Protective Order seeking an order from the court that Monsignor Bronkiewicz need not produce the records.

October 27, 1997:
The plaintiffs object to the Motion for Protective Order arguing that the records of abuse involving all priests are essential.

October 28, 1997:
Lawyers for Father Koziol file a Motion to Quash the notice of deposition as to him.

October 29, 1997:
Lawyers for Father Carr and Father Coleman seek an order allowing them to question Bishop Egan at his deposition.

November 6, 1997:
The plaintiffs object to Father Koziol’s Motion to Quash

November 6, 1997:
The Diocese files a “Renewed Motion” for Summary Judgment. This time the Diocese argues that the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution protect the Diocese from lawsuits alleging that it was negligent in its supervision of its priests and that, therefore, children were sexually abused. Bishop Egan signs an affidavit in support of the Motion.

November 13, 1997:
The plaintiffs serve one interrogatory and one production request on the Diocese asking the Diocese to identify any complaints that it has received of its priests sexually abusing children.

November 19, 1997:
The plaintiffs object to the “Renewed Motion” for Summary Judgment filed by the Diocese. The plaintiffs argue that the Constitution does not prevent the Diocese from being sued in negligence.

November 20, 1997:
The Diocese objects to having to identify all complaints of its priests sexually abusing children. The Diocese claims those records are confidential and are protected by a “personnel file” privilege and, further, that the plaintiffs do not need the records. Perhaps most shockingly the Diocese argues that it would be “unduly burdensome” to produce the materials.

December 2, 1997:
The plaintiffs object to the errata sheet executed by Bishop Egan after his deposition testimony, claiming that he substantively changed his answers.

December 10, 1997:
The Diocese moves to substitute the estate of Bishop Curtis who has passed away.

Brief History of Cases: 1998

March 20, 1998:
The plaintiffs file a Motion to Compel requesting the Court to order the Diocese to turn over the transcripts of testimony given by Monsignor Cusack, Monsignor Bronkiwicz, and Bishop Curtis in a case pending in Hartford.

March 30, 1998:
The Diocese objects to having to turn over the three transcripts arguing that they are unrelated.

April 29, 1998:
Seven "John Doe" priests of the Diocese of Bridgeport seek to intervene in the case on an anonymous basis in order to object to the production of any complaints made against them for sexual misconduct. They hire yet another lawfirm to represent them. The seven priests claim their privacy rights would be harmed if the Diocese were to disclose any complaints of sexual abuse of children. The seven priests are not defendants in any of the cases but apparently have been accused of sexual impropriety with children. Five of the seven are actively serving in parishes in Fairfield County. The priests assert in an affidavit filed on their behalf by the Vicar of Clergy that their personnel files “may” contain complaints of “misconduct”. The Vicar asserts that confidentiality of the records is necessary for “forgiveness and compassion, each of which lie at the very heart of Catholic religious teachings and traditions”. The lawyers for the seven priests file a forty page brief in support of their Motion to Intervene.

June 2, 1998:
The Court, Skolnick, J., denies the Motion for Summary Judgment filed by the Diocese which claimed that the plaintiffs’ actions are barred by the First Amendment of the Constitution. Judge Skolnick holds, “Just as the State may prevent a church from offering human sacrifices, it may protect its children against injuries caused by pedophiles by authorizing civil damages against a church that knowingly (including should know) creates a situation in which injuries are likely to occur.”

June 11, 1998:
The Diocese files a Motion to Reargue the courts denial of its Motion for Summary Judgment along with a twenty page brief in support of the Motion.

June 12, 1998:
The plaintiffs file a revised complaint.

June 16, 1998:
The plaintiffs notice the deposition of the Comptroller of the Diocese commanding him to bring with him all documents regarding settlements reached between the Diocese and children who were sexually abused by its priests.

June 17, 1998:
The Court denies the Motion to Reargue of the Diocese.

June 23, 1998:
The Diocese notices the depositions of the parents of three of the plaintiffs who were sexually abused.

June 25, 1998:
The plaintiff notices the deposition of an associate of Father Pcolka’s who was involved with the sexual abuse of the children.

June 30, 1998:
The Diocese files a Motion for Protective Order to stop the plaintiffs from getting the settlement documents.

July 9, 1998:
The Court denies the request of the seven “John Doe” priests to intervene.

July 13, 1998:
The Plaintiffs object to the June 30, 1998 Motion for Protective Order.

July 21, 1998:
Diocese notices the depositions of three more parents of plaintiffs.

July 28, 1998:
Diocese notices the depositions of four more parents of plaintiffs.

July 28, 1998:
The seven John Doe priests file an appeal of the Court’s July 9, 1998 ruling.

August 11, 1998:
Plaintiffs object to the Motion to Quash and Motion for Protective Order of seven John Doe priests.

August 19, 1998:
Plaintiffs file a Motion for Contempt and Sanctions against the Diocese for violating its own gag order and selectively releasing documents that were to be kept under seal.

August 25, 1998:
Lawyers for the John Doe priests file a twenty page brief in further support of their Motion to Quash the subpoena directed at Monsignor Bronkiwicz.

August 28, 1998:
The Diocese objects to the Motion for Contempt.

August 31, 1998:
Diocese notices the depositions of two more parents of plaintiffs.

September 14, 1998:
Court rules on plaintiffs’ Motion for Contempt. Court finds that counsel for Father Pcolka violated the court’s protective order. The Court finds that such a violation did not rise to the level of contempt. “Nevertheless, the court emphasizes that any further disclosure of materials or information covered by the protective order will be dealt with severely.”

September 14, 1998:
Court rules on Motion to Quash of seven “John Doe” priests. Court orders the Diocese to deliver to the court the files of the seven priests so that the Court can make an inspection and then the court will determine what is to be disclosed.

September 23, 1998:
Diocese notices depositions of two more parents of plaintiffs.

October 1, 1998:
Diocese files a Motion to Reargue the Court’s September 14, 1998 regarding the Motion to Quash of the seven “John Doe” priests.

October 2, 1998:
Plaintiffs object to Motion to Reargue.

October 2, 1998:
Plaintiffs file revised complaint.

October 7, 1998:
The lawyers for Father Pcolka move to withdraw their appearance as counsel for Father Pcolka. The lawyers cite to “irreconcilable differences”.

October 13, 1998:
Court denies Motion to Reargue filed by the Diocese on October 1, 1998.

October 23, 1998:
As a result of the appeal taken by the seven “John Doe” priests, the Court stays all discovery regarding complaints of sexual abuse involving nonparty priests.

October 26, 1998:
The court grants the Motion to Withdraw Appearance filed by Father Pcolka’s lawyers.

October 29, 1998:
Diocese notices depositions of two more parents of plaintiffs.

Brief History of Cases: 1999

January 5, 1999:
Plaintiffs notice deposition of Father Pcolka and also seek an order compelling him to answer all questions posed. At the first part of his deposition Father Pcolka took the Fifth Amendment over 100 times.

January 6, 1999:
Diocese notices the deposition of a treating psychologist.

January 11, 1999:
The plaintiff moves to consolidate all of the Father Pcolka cases into one case.

January 12, 1999:
Diocese files an objection to the plaintiff’s January 5, 1999 seeking an order to have Pcolka answer all questions.

January 14, 1999:
Diocese objects to consolidation of Pcolka cases.

January 14, 1999:
Diocese moves to transfer the lawsuits out of Bridgeport, CT claiming that it can not receive a fair trial.

January 18, 1999:
Plaintiffs notice the deposition of the Keeper of Records for the Priests Council in the Diocese to bring all records where sexual abuse of children was discussed.

January 18, 1999:
Plaintiffs notice the deposition of Monsignor Gentoli.

January 19, 1999:
Court enters an order for the Sheriff’s Department to take Father Pcolka into custody as a result of his failure to appear at a scheduled deposition.

January 21, 1999:
Plaintiffs object to the Motion to Transfer.

February 1, 1999:
Court denies Motion to Transfer.

March 4, 1999:
Father Pcolka’s new lawyer requests that his deposition be held outside of Bridgeport.

March 9, 1999:
Plaintiff’s object to changing location of Pcolka deposition.

March 16, 1999:
Court denies Pcolka’s motion to change location of deposition.

August 4, 1999:
Plaintiffs notice the continuation of the deposition of Bishop Egan.

August 24, 1999:
Plaintiffs notice the deposition of Father Merry.

October 22, 1999:
The plaintiffs renotice the continuation of the deposition of Bishop Egan and command that he appear at the deposition with certain documents

October 29, 1999:
Diocese moves to transfer cases to the Complex Litigation Docket in Waterbury.

November 3, 1999:
Diocese moves for a protective order to prevent Bishop Egan from being deposed arguing that it is unduly burdensome and oppressive.

November 10, 1999:
Plaintiffs object to Diocese Motion for Protective Order

November 24, 1999:
Files are transferred to the Complex Litigation Docket in Waterbury.

December 8, 1999:
Seven John Doe priests file a brief in support of the Diocese Motion for Protective Order.

December 9, 1999:
Diocese files another brief in support of its Motion for Protective Order re: the deposition of Bishop Egan

December 13, 1999:
Court orders that Bishop Egan must answer questions about the sexual misconduct of the seven John Doe priests. However, pursuant to the request of the Bishop’s lawyers, the deposition is to be taken under seal.

December 16, 1999:
Personnel file of Father Kieran Ahearn is filed with the court under seal.

December 21, 1999:
Diocese files a Motion for Rearguement of the Court’s December 13, 1999 order compelling Bishop Egan to answer questions.

December 23, 1999:
The seven John Doe priests file a Motion and brief in support of the Diocese motion dated December 21, 1999 regarding Bishop Egan’s testimony.

December 23, 1999:
Court reiterates its prior order of December 13, 1999 and denies the Motion for Rearguement. Bishop Egan is to answer inquiries directed to his knowledge of any complaints of sexual misconduct involving priests associated with the Diocese; the dates of such complaints; and any actions taken by the diocese in response to the complaints.

December 28, 1999:
Per order of the court, the Diocese discloses to the plaintiffs the contents of Father Ahearn’s file, Father Brett’s file, and Father McKenna’s file.

December 30, 1999:
The seven John Doe priests file a Motion for Review with the Appellate Court asking the Appellate Court to reverse the Court’s December 23, 1999 order compelling Bishop Egan to answer questions about the sexual abuse of children by priests.

December 31, 1999:
The plaintiffs again renotice the deposition of Bishop Egan pursuant to the Court’s December 23, 1999 order.

Brief History of Cases: 2000

January 20, 2000:
Diocese again requests that the deposition of Bishop Egan be continued.

January 21, 2000:
Court orders deposition of Bishop Egan to go forward.

January 24, 2000:
Plaintiffs file a Motion to Compel Bishop Egan to appear for a deposition within three weeks.

January 26, 2000:
Diocese objects to the plaintiffs’ Motion to Compel dated January 24, 2000.

January 27, 2000:
Connecticut Appellate Court grants petition excusing Bishop Egan from answering any questions about sexual misconduct by the seven “John Doe” priests until the completion of the Appeal filed by the John Doe priests.

October 3, 2000:
Appellate Court rules that seven “John Doe” priests may intervene as parties in order to file Motions to Quash. However, the Appellate Court declines to rule that the records of complaints made against those seven priests for sexual misconduct are protected by their privacy interests and therefore, not discoverable. Rather, the Appellate Court indicates that that issue should be decided by the trial judge. Therefore, the issue of whether Bishop Egan must answer questions regarding his knowledge of sexual misconduct involving the seven John Doe priests is returned to the trial court.

Brief History of Cases: 2001

March 8, 2001:
Tremont & Sheldon Achieves Global Settlement with Diocese of Bridgeport and Cardinal Egan for Over 20 Survivors of Clergy Sex Abuse.

Brief History of Cases: 2002

April 2002:
Jason Tremont met with Bishop William Lori and two clients in order to report the sexual abuses of Father Alfred Bietighofer while at Blessed Sacrament in Bridgeport.

Summer 2002:
Tremont & Sheldon resolved three additional claims for persons who were sexually abused as minors by priests of the Diocese of Bridgeport. The three offending priests were Charles Stubbs, Charles Carr, and Joseph Moore.

October 18, 2002:
Tremont & Sheldon Attempts Resolution of Over 30 New Clergy Sex Abuse Cases.

Secret Archives

The lawsuits launched by Tremont & Sheldon for young, Catholic children who were victims of sexual attacks by Roman Catholic priests have gained national attention. Although it is four years since the cases were brought to court, the Diocese of Bridgeport has fought tooth and nail to hide from us and the public the numerous complaints by parishioners of priests molesting their children. By trying to hide the facts, the Diocese and its insurance company have been caught in a web of misstatements and contradictions.

In one of the most startling developments in the case, T. Paul Tremont through grueling cross-examination forced a Monsignor to admit that there are "secret archives", to which only Bishop Egan has the key, that contain records of sexual assaults by priests upon children in the Bridgeport Diocese. Newspapers throughout the country reported the existence of the secret files which are hidden from the public and law enforcement authorities. As a result of the twenty cases which we started, other victims have come forward with sexual abuse charges against another half dozen priests who were connected with the Bridgeport Diocese.

In Washington, D.C., the National Catholic Council has asked that bishops compensate victims of priestly sexual assaults. Yet in Bridgeport, Connecticut the reaction of the Diocese was to publicly strip the priest of his authority as a priest; but secretly pay the cost for his lawyers and refuse to divulge his whereabouts. In addition, pressure has been put on the newspapers, the radio and television to suppress any news story of these Catholic children who were raped, sodomized and assaulted by priests.

Despite the power and force of the Diocese, Tremont & Sheldon will continue to fight for the rights of these innocent victims who continue to suffer from this tragic abuse.

The Priests

The following seventeen men are current or former priests of the Diocese of Bridgeport or the Archdiocese of Hartford, who have been sued, suspended following allegations of sexual abuse of minors, or have claims against them. This information was obtained from The Official Catholic Directory.


The Diocese of Bridgeport

Kieran T. Ahearn
1965: 213 Stanton Street, New York
1966-1969: Lowel Rd., Hudson, New Hampshire
1970-1971: 1200 Brush Hill Rd., Milton, Massachusetts
1972-1975: Smithtown General Hospital, Smithtown, NY
1976-1978: St. Ann Friary, Smithtown, NY
1979-1980: Smithtown General Hospital, Smithtown, NY
1981-1982: Not listed
1983-1984: St. Pius X, Middletown, CT (Diocese of Norwich)
1985: St. Joseph the Worker Church, East Patchogue, NY (RBC)
1986-1990: St. Luke's Church, Westport, CT
1991-1993: St. Mary's Church, Bethel, CT
1994-1996: Leave of Absence


Henry A. Albeke
1974-1976: St. Charles, Bridgeport, CT
1977: On duty outside of diocese (Pontifical Ecclesiastical, Rome, Italy)
1978: St. Jude, Monroe, CT
1979: St. Joseph's, Brookfield, CT
1980-1987: St. John's, Darien, CT
1988-1992: St. Thomas the Apostle, Norwalk, CT
1993: St. Francis Assisi, Weston, CT


Stanley Banaszek
1985: St. Anthony of Padua, Bridgeport, CT


Alfred J. Bietighofer
1966-1968: St. George Parish, Bridgeport, CT
1968-1974: St. Anthony Parish, Bridgeport, CT
1974-1975: St. John Vianney, Chiclayo, Peru
1975-1976: St. Patrick Parish, Bridgeport, CT
1976-1982: Blessed Sacrament, Bridgeport, CT
1982-1984: St. Joseph Medical Center, Stamford, CT
1984-1986: St. Joseph Parish, Norwalk, CT
1986-1987: St. John Vianney, Chiclayo, Peru
1987-1988: Sacred Heart, Stamford, CT
1988-1998: St. Mary Parish, Norwalk, CT
1998-1999: St. Charles Borromeo, Bridgeport, CT
1999-2001: St. Francis of Assisi, Weston, CT
2001-2002: St. Andrew Parish, Bridgeport, CT


Laurence F. X. Brett
1963-1964: St. Cecelia's, Stamford, CT
1965-1972: Leave of Absence
1973-1995: On Duty Outside of Diocese
1996: Not listed


Charles T. Carr
1981-1984: Our Lady of Fatima Church, Wilton, CT
1985-1986: St. Thomas the Apostle, Norwalk, CT
1987-1988: St. Catherine of Siena, Trumbull, CT
1990: Central Catholic High School, Norwalk, CT
1990-1991: St. Phillip's Church, Norwalk, CT
1992-1995: St. Andrew's Church, Bridgeport, CT
1996: Leave of Absence


W. Phillip Coleman
1960-1966: St. Teresa's Church, Trumbull, CT
1967-1968: St. Maurice's Church, Stamford, CT
1969: St. Joseph's Church, Danbury, CT
1970-1972: St. Aloysius, New Canaan, CT
1973-1975: St. Thomas' Church, Fairfield, CT
1976-1982: St. Patrick's Church, Bridgeport, CT
1983-1987: St. Joseph's Church, Brookfield Center, CT
1988: Immaculate High School, Danbury, CT
1990: Central Catholic High School, Norwalk, CT
1988-1990: Sacred Heart Church, Georgetown, CT
1991-1993: St. Joseph' Manor, Trumbull, CT
1993-1995: St. Margaret Mary, Shelton, CT
1996: Retired


Joseph DeShan
1988-1989: St. Augustine's Cathedral, Bridgeport, CT


Reverend William Donovan
1961-1966: St. John's Parish, Darien, CT
1966-1973: Convent of the Sacred Heart, Greenwich, CT
1973-1982: St. Thomas More Parish, Darien, CT
1982-1983: St. Rose of Lima Parish, Newtown, CT
1983-1989: St. Leo's Parish, Stamford, CT
1989-2002: Holy Family, Fairfield, CT


Martin J. Federici

1967: St. Teresa's Church, Trumbull, CT
1968-1970: Assumption Church, Westport, CT
1971: St. Ambrose Parish, Bridgeport, CT
1972-1977: Assumption Church, Fairfield, CT
1978-1981: St. Thomas the Apostle Church, Norwalk, CT
1982-1983: St. Joseph's Church, Shelton, CT
1984: St. Edward the Confessor, New Fairfield, CT
1985-1995: St. Matthews, Norwalk, CT
1996: St. Augustine's Cathedral, Bridgeport, CT


Joseph H. Gorecki
1960-1964: St. Cyril Methodius Church, Bridgeport, CT
1965-1966: On duty outside of Diocese
1967-1970: St. Joseph's Parish, Shelton, CT
1971: St. Teresa's, Trumbull, CT
1972-1973: Holy Name, Stamford, CT
1974: Assumption Church, Westport, CT
1975: St. Vincent's Hospital, Bridgeport, CT
1976-1978: St. Mary's Parish, Norwalk, CT
1978: Present--Not listed


Richard J. Grady
1973-1979: St. Leo's, Stratford, CT
1980-1988: Our Lady of Good Counsel, Bridgeport, CT
1989: Retired


Father Sherman Gray
1971-1973: St. Mary's, Greenwich, CT
1974-1975: On duty outside of diocese, Pontifical Biblical Institute, Rome, Italy
1976-1981: St. Maurice's, Stamford, CT
1982: On duty outside of diocese, Theological College Catholic University of America, Washington DC
1983-1985: On duty outside of diocese, Mt. St. Mary's Seminary, Emmitsburg, MD
1986: On duty outside of diocese, St. Bernard, Riverdale, MD
1987-2002: Holy Name of Jesus, Stamford, CT


Stanley Koziol
1980-1987: Holy Name of Jesus, Stamford, CT
1988-1992: St. Aloysius, New Canaan, CT
1993-1994: St. Philip, Norwalk, CT
1995-1996: St. Mark's Church, Stratford, CT


Joseph Malloy
1971-1974: St. James, Stratford, CT
1975-1987: St. Catherine of Siena, Trumbull, CT
1988-2002: St. Ann, Bridgeport, CT


Father Albert McGoldrick
1979-1980: St. Mary's, Stamford, CT
1980: Diocesan Tribunal, Instructor
1981-1984: Diocesan Tribunal, Auditor
1985-1986: On Duty Outside of Diocese, Divine Word College, Washington, D.C.
1987: Our Lady of Peace, Stratford, CT
1988: Assumption, Westport, CT
1989-1994: Unknown
1995-2002: Diocesan Tribunal, Judge
1998: Notre Dame of Easton, Easton, CT
1999: St. James, Stratford, CT
2000-2002: St. Paul, Greenwich, CT


Joseph P. Moore
1972-1973: St. Teresa's Church, Trumbull, CT
1974-1975: Assumption, Westport, CT
1976-1981: St. Joseph's Church, Danbury, CT
1982-1983: St. Mary's Church, Bethel, CT
1984-1996: On duty outside of Diocese


Father Robert Morrissey
1977: St. Lawrence, Huntington, CT
1978-1982: St. Mary's, Greenwich, CT
1983-1984: St. Clement's, Stamford, CT
1985-1986: St. Joseph's, Danbury, CT
1987: Unknown
1988-1989: On Duty Outside Diocese - US Navy
1990-1992: St. Joseph's Danbury, CT
1993-2002: St. Mary's, Ridgefield, CT


Gavin O'Connor
1978-1979: St. Joseph's Church, Shelton, CT
1980-1981: St. Edward the Confessor Church, New Fairfield, CT
1982-1984: St. Peter's Church, Danbury, CT
1985-1988: On duty outside the Diocese (U.S. Penitentiary, Marion, IL)
1990-1996: Not listed


Raymond S. Pcolka
1966-1967: St. Benedict's Parish, Stamford, CT
1968-1973: St. John Nepomucene Parish, Bridgeport, CT
1974: St. Mary's Church, Greenwich, CT
1975: St. James Church, Stratford, CT
1976-1986: Holy Name Church, Stratford, CT
1987-1988: St. Mary's Church, Bethel, CT
1990-1993: Sacred Heart Church, Greenwich, CT
1994-1995: Leave of Absence
1996: Not Listed


Martin Ryan
1977-1980: St. Teresa's, Trumbull, CT
1981-1982: St. James, Stratford, CT
1983-1987: St. Francis of Assisi, Weston, CT
1988-1991: St. Margaret Mary, Shelton, CT
1992-2002: St. Edward the Confessor, New Fairfield, CT


Monsignor Gregory M. Smith
1968-1969: St. Teresa's, Trumbull, CT
1970-1973: St. Joseph's, Danbury, CT
1975-1996: Our Lady of Good Counsel, Bridgeport, CT


Monsignor Charles W. Stubbs

1963: St. Edwards Church, New Fairfield, CT
1963-1964: St. Mary's Church, Stamford, CT
1964-1967: Assumption Parish, Westport, CT
1967-1969: St. Ann's Church, Bridgeport, CT
1969-1976: St. Catherine of Siena, Greenwich, CT
1976-1991: St. Mary's Church, Ridgefield, CT
1991-1996: St. Mary's Church, Greenwich, CT


Vincent Veich
1972: Assumption, Fairfield, CT
1973-1977: St. Catherine, Riverside, CT
1978-1984: Assumption, Westport, CT
1985-1987: St. Cecilia, Stamford, CT
1988-1990: St. John, Darien, CT
1991-1996: St. Benedict, Stamford, CT


Archdiocese of Hartford

Father Thomas Glynn
1960-1965: St. Boniface's, New Haven, CT
1966-1967: St. Matthews, Forestville, CT
1968-1970: Holy Trinity, Wallingford, CT
1971-1979: St. Clare, East Haven, CT
1980-1987: St. Joseph, Meriden, CT
1988: Retired


Father Kenneth Shiner
1971-1979: St. Bridget, Elwood, West Hartford, CT
1979-1980: Our Lady of Fatima, Yalesville, Wallingford, CT
1980-1991: St. Francis of Assisi, New Britain, CT
1991-1998: St. Elizabeth, Branford, CT
1998-2000: St. Mary's Church, Unionville, CT
2000-March 2002: Sacred Heart, Suffield, CT

Time in which to file a claim

Connecticut has one of the most liberal statute of limitations for persons to bring claims when they have been sexually abused while they were children. Connecticut law provides that a person has thirty years after they have reached the age of majority (generally until they are 48 years old) to bring a claim for injuries sustained as a result of sexual abuse when they were a minor. This period may be longer depending on certain factors, including but not limited to, the age of majority at the time of abuse and whether the claimant was in the military.

 
 

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