Priest's Accuser Files Lawsuit

By Eden Laikin
Newsday [Rockville Centre NY]
September 30, 2006

A Holbrook woman Friday filed a $6-million lawsuit against the Diocese of Rockville Centre, Bishop William Murphy, a priest and a diocesan official, charging that she was traumatized earlier this year when she met the official to discuss sexual abuse allegations against the priest and the official tried to re-enact the long-ago events she claimed took place.

Janique Polimine, 39, says in the lawsuit she was sexually abused in 1980 by the Rev. William Logan while she was a confirmation student at St. James Roman Catholic Church in Seaford. She charges that at a meeting in February, Eileen Puglisi, director of the diocese Office for the Protection of Children and Young People, made her demonstrate how she claimed she had been touched and held by Logan in empty basement stairwells when she was 13.

Polimine said in the suit that Puglisi tried to "intimidate" her by saying things like: "You probably looked forward to these secret meetings" and "You must have felt a normal type of attraction to Father Logan." The suit says Puglisi made Polimine feel "dirty and ashamed."

Diocese spokesman Sean Dolan, Puglisi, Logan and Murphy declined to comment.

Logan, 64, was removed from ministry in March while the diocese investigated the accusations Polimine originally made in January. He was returned to active ministry Sept. 18 when the diocese determined the allegations were unfounded.

In keeping with diocesan policy, the allegations were passed to prosecutors at the Nassau district attorney's office, though officials there said the cases would not be investigated because they happened so long ago.

The lawsuit accuses Logan of "inducing and seducing" the now-married mother of two into a "nonconsensual sexual relationship and improper sexual contact." According to the suit, Logan would take her out of class to have her sit on his lap or hold her in hour-long embraces.

The suit, filed in State Supreme Court in Mineola Friday, accuses Puglisi of "psychotherapy and psychology malpractice" and "assault and battery."

After Newsday published a story about Polimine in April - she used her maiden name, McKenny, for the article - a parent came forward and said she had advised then-Bishop James Daly 25 years ago that Logan's actions toward young girls were "sick and demented." Another woman came forward with complaints similar to Polimine's about Logan that allegedly occurred in 1970s. That allegation involved kissing and inappropriate physical contact, according to a law enforcement source. Both allegations were cited in the lawsuit.


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