Federal Judge Tosses Complaint against Priest

Miami Herald
May 22, 2004

A Miami federal judge has thrown out a sexual harassment complaint filed against the Rev. Joseph Kershner, the former principal of one of Broward County's largest Catholic high schools.

The lawsuit, brought last year by a fired Cardinal Gibbons debate coach, was dismissed because teacher William Fisher failed to pursue his claim in a timely way, U.S. District Judge Joan Lenard ruled earlier this month.

Kershner retired as Cardinal Gibbons principal at the end of 2002 after he was cleared by the archdiocese of a sexual abuse complaint dating from the mid-1970s.

Broward Assistant State Attorney Dennis Siegel investigated that complaint, which accused Kershner of sliding his hands down the back of a former student's pants on several occasions.

In August 2002, Siegel said he could not prosecute the claim because the statute of limitations had long since run out. But he said in a memo the credibility of the charge was supported by similar allegations made by other former students.


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