Judge Dismisses Suit against Boys Town, Priest

The Associated Press, carried in Belleville News-Democrat
May 18, 2006

OMAHA, Neb. - A Douglas County judge has dismissed a sexual abuse lawsuit against Girls and Boys Town and a priest who had worked there.

The plaintiff, Darren Boudreau, of Cheyenne, Wyo., said in his suit that the Rev. Richard Colbert had molested him several times when Boudreau was a student at the home for troubled youths from 1985 to 1989.

Colbert, who had been working in a mid-Missouri diocese, had denied the allegations.

The suit, filed in September, named Girls and Boys Town as a defendant, alleging it knew - or should have known - what Colbert was doing and should have better supervised him.

The suit said Boudreau suffered from a mental disorder that had kept him from suing.

His original attorney withdrew from the case, and Boudreau had filed for bankruptcy before filing the lawsuit.

Because Boudreau failed to hire another attorney or proceed on his own, District Judge J. Patrick Mullen dismissed the lawsuit this week.

Attorneys for Colbert and Boys Town said they found no proof of Boudreau's allegations.

Judges now have thrown out all but two of five sex-abuse lawsuits against Boys Town, which changed its name to Girls and Boys Town in 2000.

A spokesman for the Jefferson City, Mo., diocese, Mark Saucier, said Thursday that Colbert had been put on administrative leave by his order, the Society of the Precious Blood, and had returned to its seminary in Liberty, Mo.

The Rev. James Urbanic, provincial director for the Society, said he spoke with Colbert on Wednesday and that he expressed relief that the case was dismissed. Urbanic said he was not certain when, or if, Colbert would return to active ministry.

The diocese said Colbert served from 1977 to 1979 in Sedalia, from 1988 to 1992 in Pilot Grove and from 1993 to 1995 at St. Joseph Cathedral in Jefferson City before being assigned to a Fayette parish in 1995 and Warsaw in 1999.

An advocacy group, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said Colbert also had worked at the seminary in Liberty, as well as in Linton, N.D., and Collegeville, Minn., in the 1970s before going to Nebraska City and then Omaha in the early 1980s.


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