Judge: Alleged Victim Can Still Sue Church

By Jeffrey Wolf
June 16, 2009

PUEBLO - A priest who died several years ago will still be at the center of lawsuits because of a ruling Monday.

Andrew Burke shot himself at his home in Pueblo in 2005 after allegations of sexual abuse.

Judge Victor Reyes ruled that an alleged victim could still sue the Diocese of Pueblo which had argued that the statute of limitations had run out.

The man says he was sexually abused by Father Burke from 1970 through 1973.

He sued in 2005, saying the diocese knew of Burke's propensity to molest boys.

A police report indicates that in 1973, Burke told the Vatican about his plans to leave the priesthood due to a "psychosexual behavior disorder."

The decision by Reyes is believed to be the first such order against the Catholic Church in Colorado.


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