Burlington Diocese Trial Continues

Fox 44
December 5, 2008

In the third day of the trial, the defense continued to go over old letters with Father Haskin, showing how other issues were handled in the 70's when the plaintiff was said to have been molested.

"Please be assured that I and other diocesan officials consider child abuse to be a grievous offense that can not be condoned, and we are not reluctant to take appropriate canonical actions against a priest who commits such acts when circumstances are warranted," Defense Lawyer Tom McCormick said as he read from a letter.

Letters between doctors and members of the diocese also report what medical attention was sought, and how the patient was doing. Two of the priests had complaints against them for sexual abuse, another instance was about alcoholism.

"The chief complaint and reason for complaint, Father George Murtagh was admitted to the institute of living for treatment was a sexual disorder and a thyroid disorder, prior to admission he was suicidal...after a hospital stay of approximately three and a half months, Father Murtagh shows significant progress," read McCormick.

The defense also said there are big differences in the way sexual abuse reports were handled in the 1970's and how they are handled now. The trial is expected to continue well into next week.


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