Judge Wants Some Herek Suits Merged

By Joseph Morton
Omaha World Herald
October 26, 2001

A judge has ordered that some of the civil lawsuits pending against the Omaha Archdiocese over former priest and convicted sex offender Daniel Herek be tried together.

Douglas County District Judge Robert Burkhard made the decision last week.

In 1998, Herek was convicted of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old boy, and he served 2 1/2 years in prison.

Eight men are suing the archdiocese because of alleged assaults Herek committed over the course of decades at various Omaha-area parishes. The archdiocese faces nine civil suits - one by each of the men and a ninth by the mother of one of the altar boys.

The lawsuits filed by the mother and her son will be tried together.

Four of the other lawsuits involve questions as to whether the statute of limitations applies to them. Those four suits will be tried at the same time as each other, but separately from the first two.

It could be some time before any of the cases go to trial. Burkhard has granted church officials 90 days to answer questionnaires filed by the plaintiffs.

Three other lawsuits have been moved to federal court because the plaintiffs live outside of Nebraska.


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