Four More Sex-Abuse Suits Filed against Louisville Archdiocese

By Gregory A. Hall
Courier-Journal [Louisville, KY]
April 16, 2003

Four lawsuits were filed yesterday against the Archdiocese of Louisville, accusing four priests of sexually abusing children.

All four accuse priests named before in the lawsuits that have been filed against the archdiocese since last April; five of the suits - of a total that now stands at 241 - have been settled.

The cases filed yesterday allege that the archdiocese knew, or should have known, that the priests were sexually abusing children and that it covered up the allegations. In responses to previous lawsuits, the archdiocese has denied any cover-up.

Brian Reynolds, chancellor and chief administrative officer for the archdiocese, declined to comment, citing the organization's policy on pending litigation.

In the suits filed yesterday:

1/2 Gary J. Weiter alleged that the Rev. Edwin J. Scherzer sexually abused him in approximately 1963 and 1964 when he attended St. Therese Church and School.

William McMurry, the attorney who represents all of the people who sued the archdiocese yesterday, said Weiter, 54, is the cousin of Thomas Weiter, who also is a plaintiff in a suit that names Scherzer.

The suit filed yesterday is the fourth to name Scherzer, who is retired and has been removed from ministry.

1/2 Louis A. Witt alleged the Rev. Louis E. Miller sexually abused him in 1965 or 1966 when he was 10 or 11 and a patient at SS. Mary & Elizabeth Hospital. Miller served as chaplain of the hospital.

1/2 Joseph E. Jenkins, 51, alleged that the Rev. Arthur L. Wood sexually abused him in approximately 1960 when Wood gave him a ride home after Jenkins served as an altar boy for a funeral at St. Elizabeth of Hungary Church. Wood died in 1983 at age 59.

1/2 Richard Egnew, 60, alleged that between 1952 and 1955 the Rev. Daniel Emerine sexually abused him. That lawsuit also names a corporation of Emerine's religious order, the Province of Our Lady of Consolation Inc., as a defendant. Emerine died in 1986.

The complaints are similar to earlier suits filed by McMurry clients, except that yesterday's all say the plaintiffs did not learn about an alleged cover-up until The Courier-Journal printed articles following the filing of the first suit on April 19, 2002.

Previously, most complaints cited an April 14, 2002, story in the newspaper as the first the plaintiffs knew of a cover-up.


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