State Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Appeal in Priest Abuse Case

By Steve Schultze
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

September 3, 2008

he state Supreme Court on Tuesday ended a long-standing lawsuit against the Green Bay Catholic Diocese over the sexual abuse of a 10-year-old boy by a priest at a parish school in 1988.

The high court declined to take up the appeal of David Schauer, now 30 and living in Arizona, who said church officials had known about the abuse and warned his parents not to take any action at the time.

Schauer initially lost his case in Circuit Court but won a review by the state Court of Appeals. The diocese appealed that ruling to the Supreme Court.

Schauer argued that the time limit that normally applies for filing civil lawsuits should be waived because a church official warned Schauer’s mother in 1990 against taking any legal action.

Tuesday’s action by the Supreme Court ends Schauer’s lawsuit, which was filed five years ago, said Jeff Anderson, Schauer’s lawyer. He called the high court’s refusal to take up the case “heartbreaking.”

Schauer said in an interview that he was disappointed in the outcome of his case but that he hoped state law might be changed so that he may yet have a chance to pursue his case. He also said he would work to help other abuse victims.

Patrick Brennan, a Milwaukee attorney who represented the Green Bay Diocese in the case, could not be reached for comment.

Donald Buzanowski, a former priest, is serving a prison sentence on two felony child sexual assault convictions for molesting Schauer at SS Peter and Paul Catholic School in Green Bay.



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