Diocese Denies Repressed-Memory Charge

May 25, 1994

[This article has been redacted by to reflect the fact that the complainant recanted his allegations against two of the priests ([Redacted 2] and [Redacted 3]), but let stand his allegations against two others (Berthiume and Foisy). We have also redacted the complainant's name [Redacted 1].]

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Detroit is denying charges leveled by a Cincinnati man who says four priests sexually assaulted him when he was a teenager more than 25 years ago.

In a lawsuit filed in Wayne County Circuit Court, [Redacted 1] claims he was abused over a four-year period, but until recently he had repressed his memories of the events. It was not clear where the alleged abuse occurred.

In his suit [Redacted 1] claims he recalled the alleged rapes and fondling incidents after he had an unidentified traumatic experience last fall.

But archdiocese spokesman Ned McGrath said a six-month investigation, which began after [Redacted 1] first made the charges in October, uncovered no evidence to support the claim.

The only accused priest still in the Detroit area -- [Redacted 2] -- called the allegations "baseless."

"I totally deny I abused [Redacted 1] or anyone else," [Redacted 2] said.

In addition to [Redacted 2], the suit names Revs. Gary Berthiume, Leonard Foisy and [Redacted 3].

The Detroit News reported that in 1977 Berthiume pleaded guilty to sexually abusing a 14-year-old boy and served six months in jail.

[Redacted 1] claims he was assaulted in the 1960s, when he was between ages 14 and 18. His lawyer, Robert Greenstein, said the assaults were so traumatic that he had totally repressed them.


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