2 Girls Were Sexually Abused by Priest in '70s, Suit Says

By Kevin O'Neal
Indianapolis Star
January 17, 2004

A lawsuit alleges that two girls were sexually abused by a Roman Catholic priest in a southern Indiana parish.

The lawsuit, filed Friday in Marion Superior Court, says the girls were abused for three years in Spencer. The names of the girls were not disclosed, but the lawsuit identifies the accused priest as the Rev. Samuel T. Curry.

The Archdiocese of Indianapolis declined to comment Friday because the litigation is pending.

According to the lawsuit, Curry was a priest at St. Jude's Parish in Spencer, 50 miles southwest of Indianapolis. The abuse allegedly occurred from 1976 to 1979, when the girls, who are sisters, were attending church at St. Jude's.

The suit said the girls would have been 9-12 years old and 12-15 years old when they were abused. The manner of abuse was not stated.

The sisters never told anyone of the abuse when they were children and suffered emotional damage, the suit claims. Now adults, they have undergone therapy and counseling as a result of the abuse, according to the suit.

In asking for damages, the lawsuit said officials in the archdiocese should have acted against the abuse, but "came to a meeting of the minds whereby they would misrepresent, conceal or fail to disclose information relating to the sexual misconduct of the perpetrator."

The suit came nine days after the archdiocese received a "full compliance" rating by Catholic organizations that have been investigating sexual abuse scandals in the church. The report said the archdiocese complied with efforts to prevent future abuse.

The lawsuit also came as the Indianapolis Archdiocese is said to be preparing a report on sexual abuse allegations, expected to be released early this year. Other Catholic jurisdictions in Indiana already have released their reports, including:

• A Dec. 11 report alleging the abuse of 33 children by 16 priests in the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend in the last 63 years.

• A Dec. 18 report from the Diocese of Evansville saying 15 priests had been accused of abusing 22 children in the last 60 years.

• A Dec. 31 report saying 18 priests had been accused of abuse in the last 63 years in the Diocese of Lafayette.

• A Jan. 2 report from the Diocese of Gary alleging abuse by six priests and a nun in the last 47 years.



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