|Man Files Lawsuit Alleging Abuse by Irish Priest
June 16, 2008
PROVIDENCE, R.I.—A Massachusetts man has filed a lawsuit alleging he was molested by a late Roman Catholic priest who caused a scandal that brought down an Irish government.
Jeffrey Thomas filed the lawsuit Monday in Providence Superior Court against the Diocese of Providence and others. He claims he was abused at an East Greenwich parish school by the Rev. Brendan Smyth.
A diocesan spokesman said church lawyers had not yet reviewed the claims.
Smyth died in an Irish prison in 1997 shortly after pleading guilty to 74 counts of sexually abusing 20 boys and girls between 1958 and 1993.
As allegations surfaced, Smyth fled from Northern Ireland to the Irish Republic. Authorities delayed his extradition, causing a scandal that toppled Prime Minister Albert Reynolds in 1994.
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