Woman's Suit against Former Kettering Priest Settled

By Gillian Gaynair
Dayton Daily News (Ohio)
July 11, 1995

A $ 12.25 million lawsuit by a woman who claimed she was sexually abused by a local Roman Catholic priest when she was a teen-ager has been settled out of court for an undisclosed amount.

A Montgomery County Common Pleas Court judge has dismissed the lawsuit.

"From our perspective, the matter has been resolved and the terms of the settlement confidential," said Ray George , director of communications for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.

The archdiocese was one of four defendants originally named in the lawsuit that claimed sexual abuse at the hands of the Rev. Daniel Pater . Filed in the fall of 1993, when the woman was 27, the lawsuit also included charges against St. Charles Borromeo Church in Kettering and Alter High School.

The court decided last July to drop all defendants except Pater from the case, based on a state supreme court ruling that sets a statute of limitations. The ruling says a victim must file a complaint within one or two years, depending on the case, after reaching age 18.

The woman, who is identified in the lawsuit as Jane Doe, claimed she was first seduced by Pater in the early 1980s, when she was 14. Pater was then serving as associate pastor at St. Charles parish and was counseling the girl after the death of a family member. The girl was a parishioner at St. Charles and a student at the adjacent Alter High School.

The alleged sexual contact, which included sexual intercourse, continued through late 1990 or early 1991, according to the lawsuit. The woman reported the alleged abuse in October 1992. Shortly after that, she met with a "response team" consisting of a priest and two lay persons, but she was dissatisfied with the church's response.

The woman's attorney, Gregory Pratt , was not speaking to the media Monday. Pater's attorney could not be reached.

Prior to the lawsuit, Pater was appointed to serve as a Vatican diplomat to the government of Zaire. He was placed on leave of absence pending resolution of the charges.

According to George, Pater is in Rome. George could not say for sure what his duties are there.


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