Suit Focuses on Ex-Priest

By Gary Borg
Chicago Tribune [Merrill, Wisconsin]
November 10, 1995

A judge has dismissed a Roman Catholic diocese and its bishop from a civil lawsuit filed by a teenage boy who accused a priest of sexually molesting him.

The boy and his family accused the Superior Diocese and Bishop Raphael Fliss of negligence in allowing a priest with a history of sexual misconduct toward boys to serve at a Tomahawk church. Lincoln County Circuit Judge J. Michael Nolan dismissed all the defendants from the lawsuit except one-David Malsch, the former priest convicted of a sex-related crime involving the boy.

Jeffrey Jackomino, an attorney for the boy's family, said Nolan's ruling would be appealed.

The ruling, issued Tuesday, was based on a state Supreme Court decision in June in a separate case that determined a church cannot be sued for the negligent hiring, training or supervising of priests who commit sexual misconduct, Jackomino said. In October 1993, Malsch pleaded no contest to sexually enticing the boy in a hotel room. Malsch, then 54, was sentenced to a year in jail, placed on eight years' probation and ordered to undergo treatment for sexual offenders.


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