High Court Will Not Hear Rochester Church Abuse Case

Associated Press, carried in Newsday [Albany NY]
September 21, 2004

ALBANY, N.Y. -- The state's highest court Tuesday declined to hear an appeal of the dismissal of a suit against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester filed by 10 men who contended they were abused by a priest between 1975 and 1986.

The Court of Appeals made no comment in denying to hear the case. Two lower courts had dismissed both the diocese and the priest, Robert O'Neill, as defendants, saying the legal clock for court action in the case had expired years ago.

In New York, juvenile victims of sexual abuse must file suit before they turn 21. Most of the men are now in their 40s.

In 2002, Rochester Bishop Matthew Clark barred O'Neill from holding any form of church ministry, wearing clerical clothing or living on diocese property. The sexual abuse allegations were levied against O'Neill after he resigned in June 2001 as a pastor. He was never charged criminally in connection with the case.


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