Woman Files $2 Million Sexual Abuse Lawsuit against Former Priest

Associated Press State & Local Wire [Salem Ore]
May 29, 2002

The sister of a woman who filed a $2 million sex abuse lawsuit against the Roman Catholic Archdiocese in Portland has filed her own lawsuit naming the same priest, who is now dead.

The second $2 million lawsuit claims the 41-year-old Salem woman was abused by a priest identified as "Father Duffy" - the same priest named in the first lawsuit, filed just days earlier by the woman's 40-year-old sister, who lives in Beaverton.

The women, who are identified only by their initials in both suits, allege that they were abused numerous times in the priest's residence next to the Catholic church in Woodburn when they were about 6 or 7 years old.

The Rev. Francis "Frank" Duffy, who died in 1992, was assigned to St. Luke's Parish in Woodburn in 1968, according to church records.

No complaints were made about the priest during his tenure at the parish from 1968 until 1970, said Bud Bunce, a spokesman for the archdiocese.

The woman who filed the latest lawsuit is a social worker who has been married for 18 years and has two children, said her lawyer, Dan Gatti of Salem, who represents seven people in lawsuits accusing six priests of abuse.

According to the lawsuit, the woman remembers some of the abuse, "but has repressed much of the conduct and did not discover the seriousness of Duffy's conduct" until the past two years.

"She reluctantly came forward because she knows she needs help, and this is the only way she can get it," Gatti said.


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