Priest Seeks Dismissal of Lawsuits Alleging Abuse

Times Union (Albany, NY)
August 8, 2002

A priest accused of sexually abusing three boys 30 years ago while serving as a Catholic high school principal denies any wrongdoing.

In legal papers filed in state Supreme Court, the attorney for Monsignor H. Charles Sewall, Peter Hobaica, asked that the three $20 million lawsuits be dismissed.

Sewall, 67, is former vicar of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse's Eastern Region and a former principal of Notre Dame High School in Utica. The suits allege abuse by Sewall in the 1970s and 1980s when he was Notre Dame principal.

Although the diocese and one victim reached a settlement in 1988 over Sewall's actions, the victim came forward contending that diocese officials allowed Sewall to continue "mainstream" ministerial duties, nullifying the settlement and the confidentiality release he signed.


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