Man Sues Archdiocese Claiming Abuse by Priest

Seattle Post-Intelligencer
February 1, 2005

The youngest in a family of five brothers, three of whom won a $425,000 settlement from the Seattle Archdiocese after accusing former priest John Marsh of sexual abuse, yesterday filed his own complaint.

The man, now 42, is identified only by his initials in the lawsuit, which describes Marsh frequently visiting the boys and their mother during the late 1960s and early '70s. On several occasions, the suit says, the priest asked the older boys to spend nights with him at the rectory, and when G.S. was 8, he was invited too.

Marsh showered with the child, fondled his genitals and then sodomized him, the suit says. Afterward, when the archdiocese received complaints from the boy's family, officials transferred Marsh to another parish, according to lawyer Michael Pfau.

Marsh gained some fame in the early 1980s, after writing two books on alcoholism, based on his own experiences. Sexual abuse allegations emerged against him in the late 1980s, and Marsh was removed from ministry in 1988. He was defrocked the following year.

"We're going to work toward settlement with the victim in this case, as we do in all cases," said Greg Magnoni, a spokesman for the Seattle Archdiocese.


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