3 women settle lawsuit against Austin Catholic priest accused of abuse


August 19, 2020

By Kate Winkle

A lawsuit three women brought against a local Catholic organization and former priest has been settled, according to an attorney on the case.

“I can confirm that our important lawsuit and claims by these brave, wonderful women against the Schoenstatt Order and its priest were mediated and successfully resolved,” wrote Sean Breen in a statement. “I am so proud of and happy for each one of these women, that their voice was heard and so grateful for our system of justice and the right to a jury trial.”

In July, the women sued over allegations of sexual assault and false imprisonment, and claimed the Schoenstatt Movement of Austin engaged in “institutionalized negligence.” They also sued Gerold Langsch, a former priest at St. Paul’s Catholic Church in south Austin. All three were parishioners there.

Langsch was accused of inappropriately touching one of the plaintiffs when she was in hospice care in 2018. According to court documents, he had gone to her to administer her last rites. Langsch accepted a plea deal in that case in June 2019, in which he pleaded “no contest” and was sentenced to 300 days probation and fined $1,000.

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