Hartford Archdiocese, Saint Mary's Hospital Named in Suit Alleging Abuse by Priest

By Robyn Adams Republican-American
October 16, 2008

WATERBURY — Two men have filed lawsuits against the Hartford Archdiocese and Saint Mary's Hospital charging that a Catholic priest sexually assaulted them 30 years ago.

The suits, filed in Waterbury Superior Court, charge that the Rev. Raymond F. Paul sexually abused them when they were 8 to 13 years old. Paul, who is now retired, was one of the priests named in 2005 in the Hartford Archdiocese's $22 million settlement of sexual abuse allegations.

The cases, filed Sept. 29, say that Paul was assigned by the diocese to be chaplain at Saint Mary's Hospital between 1973 and 1975.

During those years, the boys, who are named Brian Doe and George Doe in the lawsuits, were patients at the hospital, according to the lawsuits.

Attorney. Thomas M. McNamara, of the McNamara & Goodman law firm in New Haven, said on Wednesday that Brian Doe was between 8 and 11 at the time of the abuse. George Doe was between 11 and 13, he said. The statute of limitations for filing sexual abuse lawsuits is up to age 48. Both are seeking monetary damages of $15,000 or more.

In the legal papers, it is alleged that the Archdiocese of Hartford knew or should have known of Paul's "proclivity to sexually abuse, exploit and assault minor children," and should have taken steps to protect children from him.

McNamara said the men live in Connecticut. Their last names are listed as Doe for fear of being ostracized by the public.

"They have had a tough time and are being as productive as possible within their means," McNamara said. "They did not try to tell their parents. It is the kind of thing people do not want to talk about. It was extremely confusing to them and has them very, very angry."

McNamara said within the past year or so they eventually talked to each other.

"I do not have readily have details on how the conversation came up," McNamara said.

In the legal papers, it is alleged that Paul entered the boys' hospital rooms during the evening hours to sexually abuse, assault and exploit them.

It further states the archdiocese failed to follow proper procedure, from evaluating Paul's mental fitness to telling law enforcement that he had engaged in abuse of minors, among other allegations.

Both men, who were baptized, also claim spiritual damage.

Attorney John Sitarz, who represents the archdiocese, was unavailable for comment Wednesday.

Chad W. Wable, executive vice president at Saint Mary's, said he is unaware of such activity at the hospital.

"I'm aware there may be allegations made at other hospitals, but not at Saint Mary's," Wable said.

Besides those two lawsuits, McNamara also filed on Sept. 26 another lawsuit in Hartford Superior Court against the diocese on behalf of a minor who was a resident of East Haven.

In 2005, the archdiocese agreed to a multi-million-dollar settlement of well-documented histories of misconduct. All told, more than 40 people told stories of sexual abuse that dated back to the early 1970s.


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