Ex-Altar Boy Files Appeal in Abuse Case

Des Moines Register [Iowa]
December 8, 2005

A former Jefferson altar boy who sued the Rev. George McFadden and the Sioux City Catholic Diocese, alleging he had been sexually abused by the priest, is appealing his case to the Iowa Supreme Court.

Daniel Nash, 47, filed his lawsuit in April 2004, alleging that McFadden had gained his trust and then, from 1969 to 1973, sexually abused him at the St. Joseph's Church rectory, vestry and parish hall.

Woodbury County District Judge Duane Hoffmeyer dismissed the case in June 2005, ruling Nash waited too long to sue. Patrick Hopkins, Nash's attorney, filed the appeal Dec. 2.

No other Iowa case involving alleged child sex abuse by a clergyman has been dismissed because of expiration of the statute of limitations.

In 2004, Scott County District Judge Charles Pelton denied attempts by the Diocese of Davenport to have four cases dismissed because of expiration of the statute of limitations.

The Nash appeal, which is likely to be heard before summer, is significant, according to Craig Levien, a Davenport attorney who won a $9 million settlement for 37 clients who said they had been abused by priests.

"If the Iowa Supreme Court rules in favor of Nash, reversing the Woodbury County ruling, everybody will be able to go to court and have a trial in these cases," Levien said. "Victims of sexual abuse by clergy will no longer have to suffer in silence, believing they waited too long to sue."