Woman Alleges Molestation, Sues Catholic Diocese

By Jennifer Garza
Sacramento Bee (California)
June 26, 2003

A Solano County woman is suing the Catholic Diocese of Sacramento, alleging she was molested by the Rev. Vincent Brady for several years in the 1970s and that the resulting stress has caused permanent health problems.

Ilah Duplantis claims she was molested by Brady from 1974, when she was in the eighth grade, until 1979. In the lawsuit filed in Sacramento Superior Court Friday, Duplantis claims that the priest's behavior "should have easily been known by the employees of the church."

Brady, 59, was suspended after Duplantis complained to diocesan officials a year ago. In December, the priest resigned as pastor of St. Joseph parish in Lincoln at the request of Bishop William K. Weigand. Although Brady is no longer in active ministry, his status with the diocese remains unclear.

Church officials, citing diocesan policy, said they could not comment on the litigation.

Brady could not be reached for comment.

In her suit, Duplantis claims that as a result of the abuse, she suffers from chronic fatigue, nausea, headaches and dizziness. Her husband, Patrick Feeney, is also suing, alleging loss of consortium.

Duplantis alleges that the abuse began when she was working in the rectory of St. Vincent Ferrer Church in Vallejo. She said she would "freeze" during these assaults and hoped that the priest would lose interest in her. Instead, she claims, he became more aggressive.

In 1986, Duplantis told her parents about the abuse. She claims she told them only because she was about to marry, and her mother had insisted that Brady perform the wedding ceremony. Duplantis claims she also told other church workers at that time.

In 1999, Brady was accused of molesting Susan Hoey-Lees when she was a child in the 1970s. Brady was pastor of St. Vincent Ferrer at the time. Hoey-Lees sued the diocese and later received a $350,000 confidential settlement that has since become public.

In her suit, Duplantis says she didn't realize the impact the alleged sexual abuse had on her until reading a 2002 newspaper account about a lawsuit against Brady.


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