Civil Suit against Priest Is Dismissed

Toledo Blade
January 14, 2010

A civil lawsuit against Toledo priest Gerald Robinson, convicted in 2006 of murdering a nun, has been thrown out of court for being filed too late.

Judge Ruth Ann Franks of Lucas County Common Pleas Court said a Toledo woman's suit alleging she was abused by Robinson and others in satanic rituals when she was a child was not filed within Ohio's statute of limitations, which in most cases is 12 years after the person turns 18.

The woman, who filed anonymously as Survivor Doe with her husband Spouse Doe, claimed she could not have sued Robinson because she did not know his identity until she saw him on television in 2004 after his arrest for murder.

Judge Franks said in dismissing the suit that while Survivor Doe did not know Robinson's identity, she knew at least four people involved in the abuse and therefore should have attempted to find out the priest's identity before the time limitations expired.

Survivor Doe's attorney, Mark Davis, said he will appeal the ruling.

The priest's attorney, John Donahue, said he was “very pleased” with Judge Franks' decision, saying it was sensitive to the concerns of child abuse victims” while also upholding the law — “that justice delayed is justice denied.”

Robinson, 71, who was barred from ministry but remains a priest in the Toledo diocese, is serving a 15-years-to-life sentence at Hocking Correctional Facility for the 1980 murder of Sister Margaret Ann Pahl.


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