2nd Suit Alleges Assault by Priest

By Dave Altimari
Hartford Courant [Connecticut]
October 3, 2002

A second lawsuit has been filed against a Hartford archdiocese priest and former state police and fire chaplain alleging that he took advantage of those positions to sexually abuse a 15-year-old boy.

The new lawsuit contends that three decades ago, the priest, Stephen Foley, abused a 15-year-old Farmington boy after he became a friend of the boy's family and began frequently staying weekend nights at their home.

The boy, who is identified only as Richard Doe in the lawsuit, would have been unable to sue either Foley or the archdiocese under old state statutes. But because the legislature recently expanded the statute of limitations, he is able to proceed with the lawsuit, said his attorney, Thomas McNamara of New Haven.

Neither Foley nor his attorney, Walter Hampton, could be reached for comment Wednesday, and archdiocese spokesman Jack Sitarz declined to comment.

It is the second lawsuit filed against Foley in the past six weeks. In the previous lawsuit, a John Doe contended that on numerous occasions starting in 1977, Foley sexually assaulted him. That alleged victim also was 15 at the time.

McNamara said Wednesday that this case also fits the pattern of Foley's using his position as a fire chaplain to meet his victims. McNamara said the family of the alleged victim in this case was involved in emergency services and would see Foley at accident scenes. The family befriended him and eventually began inviting him to their house, and frequently between 1966 and 1967, Foley spent the night.

At the time of this alleged abuse, Foley was the pastor at Christ the King Church in Bloomfield.

Foley was placed on administrative leave in August 1993 when he was pastor at St. Dunstan's Church in Glastonbury. Foley also was removed as a state police chaplain around that same time. Officials from the Hartford Archdiocese have not said why he was removed from the posts.

He has been assigned to St. Thomas More Seminary since.

The new lawsuit also names the Hartford Archdiocese as a defendant.


Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.