Dallas Resources – March 1997

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Judge Allows Sex-Abuse Suit against Ex-Priest
Dallas Diocese Denies Negligent Supervision

By Ed Housewright
Dallas Morning News
March 12, 1997

A judge ruled Tuesday that all 11 plaintiffs in a sexual-abuse lawsuit against a former Catholic priest should be included in the trial, which is scheduled to start in May.

State District Judge Anne Ashby denied a motion for summary judgment by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Dallas, represented by lawyer Randal Mathis.

Mr. Mathis argued that nine of the 11 plaintiffs suing Rudolph "Rudy" Kos and the diocese filed their suits after the statute of limitations had expired. All 11 suits have been consolidated for trial.

"The ruling on the motion for summary judgment was disappointing but not altogether unexpected," Mr. Mathis said. "As a result of the ruling today, the cases will now proceed to trial, where the diocese will continue to assert not only the statute of limitations defense but their overall defense that church officials were not negligent in their supervision of Father Kos." Sylvia Demarest, who represents three of the plaintiffs, hailed the decision by the judge.

"I think the community is entitled to know how these matters are handled by the Dallas diocese, and I think they're entitled to know that priests who are selected by the Dallas diocese may not be safe in terms of contact with children."

The plaintiffs are suing the Dallas diocese, saying that it failed to properly supervise Mr. Kos and that it concealed his and other priests' sexual abuse of children at Catholic churches between 1977 and 1992.

The diocese has maintained that it was not negligent in its supervision of Mr. Kos because he deceived church officials in psychiatric and other evaluations.

"Kos was a very clever individual with a genius level IQ, and he fooled many people, including various doctors," Mr. Mathis said.

Mr. Kos, who lives in San Diego under a different last name and works as a paralegal, has never responded to the lawsuits.

Lawsuits alleging sexual abuse by two other former Dallas priests, Robert J. Peebles Jr. and William J. Hughes, are pending in Judge Ashby's court.

In the judge's ruling Tuesday, she also cleared the way for those cases to proceed to trial, although trial dates have not been set.



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