Suit Accuses Seymour Priest of Sex Abuse at New Haven Church (document)

By Lauren Garrison
New Haven Register
July 7, 2010

The Rev. Stephen Bzdyra's Facebook photo.

The priest at St. Augustine Church in Seymour is accused of sexually abusing an altar boy while serving at St. Francis Church in New Haven and St. Hedwig Church in Naugatuck, in a lawsuit filed today by the alleged victim.

The lawsuit, which was filed in Superior Court in New Haven, claims that the Rev. Stephen Bzdyra “repeatedly sexually molested William Dotson and forced himself onto William Dotson ... (and) would physically assault and injure William Dotson.” The suit claims Bzdyra also “forced William Dotson into illegal drug use when the plaintiff was a minor and continuing after that time leading to frequent employment terminations.”

Named as defendants in the suit are Bzdyra, 35 Washington Ave., Seymour; the Hartford Roman Catholic Diocesan Corp.; St. Francis Church, 397 Ferry St., New Haven, and St. Hedwig Church, 32 Golden Hill St., Naugatuck.

“Prior to and following his repeated sexual battery of William Dotson, Bzdyra provided horseback riding trips, sporting event trips, and frequent lunch dates to William Dotson and other young male members of the parish while underage. Thereafter, Bzdyra continued to intimidate and molest the plaintiff,” the lawsuit states. It says Bzdyra also gave cars and appliances to Dotson “as bribes akin to hush money” and threatened Dotson not to speak of his criminal acts, or Bzdyra would have Dotson’s mother imprisoned and contact state authorities.

As a result of Bzdyra’s “reckless sexual battery,” Dotson has suffered “severe pain and bodily intrusion and severe emotional intrusion, some or all of which may be permanent.” He has also incurred expenses related to counseling and therapy, as well as lost wages, employment and career opportunities, the suit claims.

Check back for more details at and in tomorrow’s New Haven Register.

Call Lauren Garrison at 203-789-5614.



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