Sex abuse lawsuit against Archdiocese of New Orleans clears early legal hurdle

The Advocate


A sexual abuse lawsuit involving a popular former Jesuit priest survived a legal challenge Friday as a judge rejected arguments by Loyola University and the Archdiocese of New Orleans that a woman waited too long to bring decades-old rape claims against the Rev. Benjamin L. Wren.

Judge Sidney Cates IV, of Orleans Parish Civil District Court, denied a series of defense motions that contended the plaintiff, identified in court papers as Jane Doe, cannot collect damages because she failed to file suit until last year.

The woman claims that Wren raped her repeatedly between 1978 and 1985, beginning when she was 5.

The motions represented the church’s first response to the allegations, even as lawyers for the archdiocese and the Jesuits of the USA Central and Southern Province, another defendant in the case, suggested the proceedings should be sealed.

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