Green Bay Catholic Diocese Ordered to Pay $500,000 in Sex Abuse Suit

By Gitte Laasby and Annysa Johnson
Wisconsin State Journal
November 2, 2012

The Catholic Diocese of Green Bay has been ordered to pay $500,000 to a Nevada man who was molested in 1984 by a priest it sent there, who had previously molested two Wisconsin brothers.

A Las Vegas jury ruled Thursday for the man, identified as John Doe 119, who was molested by the now defrocked Father John Patrick Feeney. He had sought $5.2 million in damages.

An Outagamie County jury in May ordered the diocese to pay $700,000 to brothers Troy and Todd Merryfield, who were abused by Feeney in the 1970s. But the judge threw out that verdict after learning that a juror failed to disclose that she suspected Feeney of inappropriate contact with her own brother and was friends with a member of the plaintiffs' extended family. That case is scheduled for retrial in May.

Feeney was convicted in Wisconsin in 2004 and sentenced to 15 years in prison but was released in 2011. He was defrocked in 2005.

The advocacy group Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests issued a statement commending John Doe 119 "for holding the Green Bay diocese accountable."

"Children in Nevada and Wisconsin are safer today because of his courage," it said.

The Diocese of Green Bay issued a statement reiterating its apology to all victims of abuse and reaffirmed its "commitment to keep all children safe from any potential harm."








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