Second Suit Filed Alleging Priest Abused Boy at Hospital

By Gregory Hall
Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY)
May 15, 2003

A second man has sued the Archdiocese of Louisville alleging he was abused by the Rev. Louis E. Miller while visiting a relative at a hospital where the priest was a chaplain.

Rudolph A. Kaelin, now 52, alleged in his suit that Miller abused him in 1966 when Kaelin was visiting an 11-year-old brother who was at SS. Mary & Elizabeth Hospital.

Kaelin's lawyer, David Vish, said the plaintiff is the brother of Matthew Kaelin, 50, who filed suit in Jefferson Circuit Court last week, making similar allegations against Miller.

Rudolph Kaelin lives near Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and learned through recent discussion with relatives about litigation alleging that the archdiocese covered up knowledge of abuse by priests, Vish said. The attorney said that the brother who was hospitalized and was comatose and paralyzed at the time died in 1980.

Rudolph and Matthew Kaelin, who were teenagers at the time, believe the alleged incidents occurred within the same week, Vish said.

The Kaelin complaint filed yesterday is the 94th to be filed since April 2002 to accuse Miller of sexual abuse. Miller is awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to 50 criminal counts of sexual abuse involving 21 victims.

In addition to the lawsuit naming Miller, a lawsuit accusing the Rev. Joseph Rives of abuse was filed yesterday. It is the second to name Rives, who died in 1971 .

Tonya Blatz Francis, 53, alleges that Rives sexually abused her in 1962 in the rectory at St. Frances of Rome, the parish where he was assigned and she was a student.

Francis came forward after seeing a lawsuit filed accusing Rives last week, Vish said.

Cecelia Price, archdiocesan spokeswoman, declined to comment on the allegations, citing the archdiocese's policy on pending litigation.

Vish said he hopes that the plaintiffs will be added to the class created for settlement negotiations among plaintiffs' lawyers and the archdiocese.

Brian Reynolds, chancellor and chief administrative officer for the archdiocese, said yesterday, however, that the archdiocese opposes adding anyone to the class.

The class is set "by agreement and by court order" as all the sexual abuse lawsuits filed against the archdiocese between April 19, 2002, and April 23 of this year, he said.

The two lawsuits filed yesterday bring the total pending against the archdiocese to 246. Six others have been settled. All of the lawsuits have been filed in the past 13 months.


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