Plaintiff Testifies in Clergy Abuse Trial

Fox 44

August 21, 2008

The man suing the Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington took the witness stand Wednesday and described the abuse he allegedly suffered at the hands of Rev. Edward Paquette.

The plaintiff, who asked the media not to use his name or image, said Paquette molested him several times in the 1970s, when he served as an altar boy at Christ the King Parish in Burlington.

Damage done by the abuse has limited the plaintiff's ability to sustain a relationship, the plaintiff said. He is currently divorced and has 40 percent custody of his young son.

The plaintiff said long-term relationships have been difficult for him.

"Because the as the relationship got longer then I felt that I had an obligation to say something to them about what happened to me," he said. Instead of telling them, he said, "I would end the relationship."

The Diocese of Burlington is accused of negligence regarding its employment of Paquette. The suit claims Bishop John Marshall hired Paquette knowing the priest had abused boys in parishes in Massachusetts and Indiana. The suit alleges Marshall moved Paquette from Rutland to Montpelier and then to Burlington, each after more molestation accusations arose.

Dr. Joseph Hasazi, a forensic psychologist, also testified Wednesday. Hasazi spoke in general terms about the effects of sexual abuse on victims. His testimony was cut off at 4:30 p.m. and he is scheduled to continue at 9 a.m. Thursday, when the trial resumes.


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