Lawsuit Alleging Sex Abuse Is Settled

Associated Press State & Local Wire
March 3, 2004

A lawsuit accusing a monsignor at a York Catholic school of molesting a boy in the 1970s has been settled.

Court documents filed in U.S. District Court last week said the lawsuit, filed by Robert P. Goodman last year against Monsignor Jerome C. Murray, was settled last week.

Goodman, who now lives in Arizona, alleged that Murray physically and sexually molested him on repeated occasions in 1973 and 1974 while he attended fifth through seventh grades at St. Joseph's Catholic Church grade school in York, 87 miles west of Omaha.

The lawsuit said Murray was Goodman's teacher, administrator and religious and educational counselor.

Murray, St. Joseph's, and the Diocese of Lincoln were named as defendants.

Murray's lawyer Robert Shively of Lincoln, declined comment on the settlement. Lawyers representing the other defendants did not immediately return calls.

Goodman's lawyer William Walker of Tucson, Ariz., was out of the country Tuesday and unavailable for comment.

Terms of the settlement were not disclosed.

Walker also represents another man in a lawsuit against Murray which is still pending.

In that suit, Randy Pfeifer of Colorado alleges that Murray physically and sexually molested him on repeated occasions from 1974 to 1976 while Pfeifer attended fifth through seventh grades at St. Joseph's.

Walker has filed a third case over alleged sexual abuse against Father Flanagan's Boys Home, the parent company of Girls and Boys Town in Omaha. That case is also still pending.

In that lawsuit, James Duffy claims that he was repeatedly abused by a priest and a counselor at Boys Town beginning in 1978. The lawsuit said Duffy was a resident at the campus just west of Omaha until 1979. He claims the family counselor in his home, Michael Wolf, and the Rev. James E. Kelly each molested him on separate occasions, leaving him with serious physical and psychological injuries.

The lawsuit originally named Father Flanagan's Boys Home and the Catholic Archdiocese of Omaha, but the archdiocese was later dropped as a defendant. Neither Wolf nor Kelly are named as defendants in the lawsuit.

It was one of four similar lawsuits filed by former residents against Girls and Boys Town.

An internal investigation into the alleged sexual abuse of the four former residents of Girls and Boys Town revealed no evidence of abuse.

The investigation team, which released its results last month, was headed by Omaha attorney James Martin Davis and included a former FBI agent and a former police detective.

The Rev. Edward Flanagan started the home for wayward boys outside Omaha in 1917. It was made famous by the Oscar-winning 1938 Spencer Tracy movie "Boys Town."


Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.