Judge Dismisses Church Abuse Civil Lawsuit

The Associated Press, carreid in Anchorage Daily News [Alaska]
February 21, 2006

FAIRBANKS - A judge on Tuesday dismissed a civil lawsuit filed against the Fairbanks Catholic diocese and another Catholic organization by a woman who claimed to have been sexually abused by a priest.

Nome Superior Court Judge Ben Esch ruled the woman, who claimed she was repeatedly sexually assaulted by the Rev. James Poole more than two decades ago, waited too long to report the alleged abuse, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported Tuesday on its Web site.

"This will be seen as unjust by many people, but is, I believe, required by the laws of the State of Alaska and the decisions of the Alaska Supreme Court," Esch wrote.

Esch similarly in December dismissed Jane Doe 2's lawsuit against Poole, also saying she waited too long to report the alleged abuse.

The woman says Poole abused her repeatedly, got her pregnant at age 14, then suggested she have an abortion.

More than 90 child sexual abuse claims have been lodged against the Fairbanks diocese and the Society of Jesus, Oregon Province. None has gone to a jury.

Two other women have settled with the diocese and the Jesuits for claims against Poole. Jane Doe 1, Elsie Boudreau, received about $1 million, and another, Patricia Hess, settled for an undisclosed sum.

Two other cases against Poole are pending.


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