Egan Resources – Tremont & Sheldon
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Sexual Abuse by Priests
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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,
November 20, 1995:
Diocese files Motion for Reargument and Reconsideration of Judge Levin's
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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,
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
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
October 26, 1998:
The court grants the Motion to Withdraw Appearance filed by Father Pcolka’s
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
October 18, 2002:
Tremont & Sheldon Attempts Resolution of Over 30 New Clergy Sex Abuse
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 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
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
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
Father Sherman Gray
1971-1973: St. Mary's, Greenwich, CT
1974-1975: On duty outside of diocese, Pontifical Biblical Institute,
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,
1986: On duty outside of diocese, St. Bernard, Riverdale, MD
1987-2002: Holy Name of Jesus, Stamford, CT
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
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,
1987: Our Lady of Peace, Stratford, CT
1988: Assumption, Westport, CT
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
1988-1989: On Duty Outside Diocese - US Navy
1990-1992: St. Joseph's Danbury, CT
1993-2002: St. Mary's, Ridgefield, CT
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
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
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
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.