MO – Victim appeals “bizarre” ruling

Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

It involves KC Catholic officials & priest
Church says it’s not responsible for crimes
Their rationale: abuse happened on private property
SNAP: “It’s perhaps the worst legal tactic by bishop ever”

For immediate release: Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013

For more info: David Clohessy ( 314 566 9790 cell, ), Barbara Dorris ( 314 503 0003, )

A man who says he was sexually assaulted as a child by a priest is asking the Missouri Supreme Court to reverse a ruling that ended his civil lawsuit against Kansas City Catholic officials. Clergy sex abuse victims called the court decision “bizarre” and are harshly criticizing Bishop Robert Finn for his defense tactics in the litigation.

Two weeks ago, a western Missouri appeals court tossed out the case of John Doe D.T. v. the Kansas City Catholic diocese and Fr. Michael Tierney. The court ruled that Catholic officials could not be held responsible for the priest’s supposed child sex crimes because they allegedly occurred on private property, not church property.

“The blame here squarely lies with Bishop Robert Finn. He could have fought this case on the merits. Instead, he’s fighting it on technicalities, and in fact, on the most absurd technicality: where Fr. Tierney and his victim were standing when Fr. Tierney sodomized the child,” said Barbara Dorris of SNAP.

“Imagine a painting company sending a known rapist out to paint your mom’s house. He rapes her. Would the painter’s boss get ‘off the hook’ because the rape wasn’t on company property?” said Dorris. “Why should the physical site of a crime enable wrongdoers who commit or conceal that crime to escape responsibility?”

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