Expert: Priest Didn't Cause Victim's Mental Woes

February 8, 2012

WATERBURY, Conn. -- WATERBURY, Conn. (AP) A psychiatrist hired by the Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford has testified he disputes that the mental health problems of an alleged clergy sex abuse victim were caused by the abuse, and that the victim had a generally "positive" relationship with the priest.

Dr. J. Alexander Bodkin testified Tuesday in Waterbury Superior Court. The alleged victim, known only as Jacob Doe, is suing the archdiocese for negligence, claiming he was repeatedly abused by Father Ivan Ferguson as a teenager in the early 1980s when Ferguson was principal of his grammar school in Derby.

The Hartford Courant reports ( ) that Bodkin testified that he believed Doe's depression was the result of his going public with his allegations and not the alleged abuse. Bodkin is affiliated with Harvard University.

Ferguson died in 2002.


Any original material on these pages is copyright 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.