Seven More Sexual-Abuse Suits Are Filed against Archdiocese

By Gregory A. Hall
Courier-Journal [Louisville, KY]
July 6, 2002

A total of seven new lawsuits were filed yesterday against the Archdiocese of Louisville, accusing four priests of sexual abuse.

All four priests have been accused of abuse in previous lawsuits. None of them is named as a defendant.

Rather, in language mirroring previous lawsuits, yesterday's complaints allege that the individual priests "engaged in a pattern" of sexually abusing children and that archdiocesan officials knew about the alleged abuse and did nothing. The suits, however, do not offer evidence of such a pattern.

Claims made in filing a lawsuit give only one side of the case.

Four of the lawsuits filed yesterday involved allegations of abuse by the Rev. Louis E. Miller, including one filed by Miller's niece, Mary Miller.

Rev. Miller has pleaded innocent to a 42-count criminal indictment accusing him of molesting 13 boys and two girls between 1959 and 1982.

Cecelia Price, a spokeswoman for the archdiocese, wouldn't comment on yesterday's lawsuits, citing an archdiocesan policy.

Besides Mary Miller, the alleged victims who filed yesterday include:

? Mary (Mudd) Fuchs, 43, who says that in 1973 and before, Miller molested her at St. Aloysius in Pewee Valley and at other locations.

Although the lawsuit did not specify, the office staff of William McMurry - who represents most of the plaintiffs suing the archdiocese - said Fuchs is Miller's cousin and the other locations where sexual abuse occurred were a Southern Indiana cabin that Miller owned and at family gatherings.

? N. Clark Rechtin, 54, who says Miller sexually abused him in the early 1960s when he was an altar boy at Holy Spirit Church.

? Keith Seadler, who says Miller twice molested him at St. Elizabeth of Hungary Catholic Church around 1977 to 1978, when he was a student at the school there.

? George A. Geraghty, who says the Rev. Edwin J. Scherzer sexually abused him around 1965, when he was 13 or 14 and attending St. Therese Church and School.

Scherzer, who is accused of abusing a child in another lawsuit, is retired and could not be reached for comment by telephone yesterday at his residence.

? Dorothy Valerie Cooper Hart, 49, who says she was sexually assaulted and abused by the Rev. Daniel Emerine on several occasions between 1959 through 1961.

According to McMurry's office, Hart was a student at St. Paul Church and School, where Emerine was assigned at the time.

Emerine, who is deceased and was a member of the Order of Conventual Franciscans, is accused of abuse in three previous lawsuits.

? Larry M. Jacobs, who says the Rev. Joseph Irvin Mouser molested him around 1968 when he was about 13 and attending St. Helen Church and School.

Mouser, who is accused in one previous lawsuit, is on leave from public ministry at the request of Archbishop Thomas C. Kelly. He had been associate pastor at St. Thomas and associate sacramental moderator at St. Monica, both in Bardstown.

Attempts to contact him by telephone yesterday were unsuccessful.


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