New Clergy Sex Abuse Lawsuit Filed against Diocese of Orlando and Indiana Bishop

July 7, 2010

[A copy of the lawsuit is available at]

The Miami law firm of Mermelstein & Horowitz, P.A., announces the filing of a new lawsuit alleging that a Roman Catholic priest sexually abused a child and that Catholic officials in Florida and Indiana conspired to cover up the priest's history of child sexual abuse.

This latest lawsuit alleges that Fr. Richard Emerson sexually abused a 15 year old boy at St. Charles Borromeo parish in Orlando, FL. The abuse continued for 2 years while the boy served as an altar boy at the parish between approximately 1987 and 1989.

Emerson first came to the Diocese of Orlando in 1987 after being transferred from the Diocese of Gary. When Emerson sought incardination in the Diocese of Orlando in 1991, he was recalled to Indiana and named Chancellor of the Diocese of Gary. Documents obtained in another lawsuit involving Emerson indicate Emerson's move back to Gary was requested by then-Orlando Bishop Norbert Dorsey, who was concerned about the "inappropriate attention" Emerson was giving to 2 teenage boys. At least 2 other allegations of sexual misconduct by Emerson have been deemed credible by the Diocese of Gary's Independent Review Board.

John Doe No. 13 v. Diocese of Orlando and Bishop Dale J. Melczek (Case No. 2010-CA-015146) is filed in Orange County (Florida) court.

The Plaintiff, John Doe No. 13, is 38 years old. He now resides in suburban Detroit. Emerson is believed to be residing in the Atlanta area. He has been the subject of numerous child sexual abuse lawsuits in both Florida and Indiana.

Adam Horowitz, an attorney for John Doe No. 13, said, "According to our lawsuit, Father Emerson was placed in a position of authority with young boys after church officials knew of his dangerous sexual behavior. Tragically, Father Emerson left a trail of child victims when church officials could have prevented them from being hurt."


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