History of Bridgeport Diocese Sex-Abuse Litigation

Connecticut Post
October 5, 2009

[See also the more detailed chronology prepared by Tremont & Sheldon.]

Abuse case timeline

A chronology of sex-abuse complaints against priests in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport:

Jan. 4, 1993: Sharon See and Brian Freibott file suit in Bridgeport Superior Court against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport, claiming they were sexually abused by the Rev. Raymond Pcolka when they were children at Holy Name of Jesus Church in Stratford.

Feb. 16, 1993: Eleven more people claiming abuse by Pcolka file suit against the Bridgeport diocese.

May 1994: The diocese pays $250,000 to two men who claimed they were sexually abused by the Rev. Laurence Brett in Sacramento, Calif., in the mid-1960s. Brett was working there with permission of the Bridgeport diocese.

Aug. 26, 1997: New Haven federal court jury awards $750,000 to former altar boy Frank Martinelli, who claimed he was sexually abused by Brett at a Stamford church in the early 1960s. The diocese later agrees to settle case for an undisclosed sum.

Oct. 7, 1997: Deposition taken from then-Bishop Edward Egan.

March 4, 1998: Diocese settles a lawsuit by a man who claims he was sexually abused by the Rev. Gavin O'Connor at a Shelton church in 1977.

May 24, 1999: Diocese settles a suit by a man who claimed he was sexually abused by Rev. Martin Federici in 1983.

Nov. 24, 1999: All abuse lawsuits against the diocese are moved to Superior Court in Waterbury.

March 9, 2001: Diocese agrees to pay $15 million to 24 people who claimed to have been abused by priests in the diocese since the 1970s.

May 2002: Waterbury Superior Court Judge Robert McWeeney orders documents unsealed.

Oct. 16, 2003: The diocese agrees to pay $21 million to 40 people who claimed they were abused by 16 priests since 1960s.

Jan. 6, 2003: The diocese appeals McWeeney's decision to the state Appellate Court, which decides to keep records sealed.

Nov. 4, 2005: State Supreme Court overturns Appellate Court and sends case back to lower court for a round of new hearings.

May 26, 2009: State Supreme Court rules documents should be unsealed.

Aug. 28, 2009: Diocese appeals to U.S. Supreme Court.

Oct. 5, 2009: U.S. Supreme Court. refuses to block release of documents.
































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