Sex abuse suit filed …

Great Falls Tribune

Sex abuse suit filed against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Great Falls-Billings

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A third lawsuit alleging abuse by Catholic clergy in Montana was filed Wednesday morning in Great Falls — this time from 10 plaintiffs alleging sexual assault by priests from within the Roman Catholic Diocese of Great Falls-Billings.

The only named plaintiff in the case, Timothy Becker, alleged that the Rev. Ted Szudera, who until last month was in active ministry in Stanford, abused him in 1978 and 1979 while Szudera was a priest in Livingston. Becker said in an interview Wednesday that he attended St. Mary’s Catholic School and the St. Mary parish in Livingston growing up, and that the alleged abuse occurred both in the church and in the school.

The Great Falls-Billings Diocese denied the allegations against Szudera, saying that an earlier accusation against Szudera brought to the church by Becker in 2006 was deemed unfounded after the diocese hired a private investigator to look into the allegation.

The Rev. Jay Peterson, vicar general for the Great Falls-Billings Diocese, said the other allegations set forth in the lawsuit were never brought to the church’s attention.

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