|Lawsuit against Fahy Is Tossed
Stockton Diocese: Nothing Indicated the Late Priest Was Abusive to Children
By Ross Farrow
November 29, 2007
A lawsuit alleging the sexual abuse of a child by the late Father Murty Fahy has been dismissed, according to the Stockton Diocese.
Fahy allegedly abused a girl about 30 times while she was in the second through fifth grades at St. Anne's School in Lodi during the 1990s, according to the $3 million lawsuit filed in December 2006.
"The (diocese) investigation did not reveal any facts which suggested that Father Fahy had ever acted improperly toward children," Bishop Stephen Blaire said in a prepared statement released on Wednesday afternoon.
"I think it's great (news)," St. Anne's Deacon Don Bo said. "I think it'll make everybody who knew Father Fahy feel good, because it is in the past now and I hope whoever brought it forward can find some peace."
Ryan DiMaria, one of two attorneys representing the woman who filed the lawsuit, said her client still maintains that Fahy abused her sexually, but she wants to get on with her life.
"She's 21 years old, and she's just starting to deal with the mental and emotional repercussions of her sexual abuse," DiMaria said. "She found it best to focus on her own healing, and we're on board with that."
The diocese's investigation was more difficult to conduct because Fahy had died and was unable to defend himself, Blaire said.
"We know that the many people who knew and admired Father Fahy will find comfort in this news," Blaire said.
The Lodi Police Department investigated the allegations, but closed the case earlier this year because investigators said they couldn't prove that he committed any sexual misconduct.
The lawsuit was filed against St. Anne's Catholic Church, St. Anne's School, Stockton Diocese and the Oblates of Saint Francis De Sales — Toledo/Detroit Province. The Oblates train and supervise priests, nuns and lay people throughout the United States, according to the suit.
"I am most grateful to Father Fahy and the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales for their dedicated service to the people of our diocese," Blaire said.
Contact reporter Ross Farrow at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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