Dead Men Don't Talk
$3 Million Lawsuit Dismissed against Stockton Diocese in Sex-Abuse Case Involving Deceased Priest

California Catholic Daily
December 7, 2007

Stockton Bishop Stephen Blaire has issued a brief press release noting that a sexual abuse lawsuit brought against his diocese has been dismissed.

The Nov. 28 news release dealt with the case of Father Murty Fahy, who died in 2001 at age 70. Fahy had been accused of sexually abusing a student at St. Anne's School in Lodi during the 1990s. Fahy allegedly abused the girl about 30 times while she was in the second through fifth grades at St. Anne's School in Lodi.

The alleged victim claimed that Fahy molested her in the confessional and in a school music room. A police investigation failed to turn up enough evidence to charge Fahy with a crime.

The alleged victim then filed a $3 million civil lawsuit against the Diocese of Stockton and the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales. That lawsuit was "dismissed without prejudice" in November, prompting the diocesan news release.

"In response to the claim, the diocese conducted a thorough investigation," Bishop Blair said in a prepared statement. "This was made more difficult by the fact that Father Fahy is deceased and unable to defend himself. The investigation did not reveal any facts which suggested that Father Fahy had ever acted improperly toward children."

The bishop treated the dismissal as a vindication of the deceased priest. "We know that the many people who knew and admired Father Fahy will find comfort in this news," said Blair. "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."


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