Alleged Sexual Abuse Victim Wants Apology after Lawsuit Dropped

By Maureen Kyle
June 5, 2006

(JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind.) -- After four years of litigation and nearly six years of emotional turmoil, the alleged sexual abuse victim of a Jeffersonsville priest still wants an apology.

Ron Meadows is one of 23 people who filed a lawsuit saying they were abused by Fr. Albert Deery at St. Augustine Parish back in the late 1950's.

"Oh, he was like the Pope! He was great and grand and you didn't say nothing bad about Fr. Deery," Meadows told WAVE 3.

His devotion to Fr. Deery broke along with the silence in September of 2002. That's when Meadows read about the lawsuit brought against the former St. Augustine priest in the newspaper.

Meadows told us, "I almost had it blocked out of my mind, but it never really goes away. And I seen that, and Fr. Deery and I said, 'That bastard, they got him.'"

Immediately calling his lawyer, Meadows joined the lawsuit along with 22 others. As a student back in 1958, Meadows recalls encounters with Fr. Deery, saying they happened 2 or 3 times a week.

"He'd just tap me on the shoulder and I thought, 'Oh God, no, he's taking me.' But he'd go to the next girl and he'd put his hand on her shoulder and slip his hand down the front of her," Meadows said.

Though the memories are vivid, it wasn't enough for the court.

Friday Afternoon, Clark Circuit Court Judge Daniel Dohanue ruled the 23 former students missed their window of opportunity saying, "A party must file a lawsuit based upon a Statute of Limitations. In this case, the individual Plaintiffs were required to file their respective Complaints within two years of when the alleged abuse occurred. None of the Plaintiff's did such."

Meadows isn't planning an appeal, but he and several others would still like an apology from the Archdiocese Indianapolis.

Though Meadows has already received years of therapy, the Archdiocese offered to pay for Psychiatric treatment.

Now that the lawsuit has been dropped, so has that offer.

Fr. Deery passed away in 1972.


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