Abuse Claims Settled

By Daniel Tepfer
Connecticut Post
October 31, 2005

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford today agreed to a multimillion-dollar settlement with 43 people who claim they were abused by more than a dozen priests since the 1960s.

The settlement was reached after protracted negotiations with U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge William I. Garfinkle, who also is credited with settling more than two dozen abuse claims against priests in the Bridgeport Diocese, according to sources familiar with the case.

The Hartford archdiocese includes Milford and much of the lower Naugatuck Valley. The archdiocese has refused to comment on the lawsuits.

The priests named in the settlement are: Joseph Buckley, Stephen Crowley, Ivan Ferguson, Stephen Foley, Thomas Glynn, Felix Maguire, Daniel McSheffery, Edward Muha, Louis Paturzo, Raymond Paul, William Przybylo, Edward Reardon and Kenneth Shiner.

Buckley died in 1975, Ferguson in 2002, Glynn in 1993 and Muha in 2002.

The whereabouts of the other priests are unknown.

A Bridgeport native, Glynn served in churches in New Haven, Bristol, Wallingford, East Haven and Meriden before he retired in 1988.

He has been accused of molesting eight boys since the 1960s. By the accounts of his alleged victims, Glynn enjoyed a lavish lifestyle and had a large cottage on the beach in East Haven, where he entertained other priests, nuns and local officials. His "boys" played the role of cook, bartender and, in some cases, the door prize for the parties.

Kevin P. Zile, who claims he was molested repeatedly by Glynn, wrote a letter to the archdiocese in July 2002.

He received a reply soon after. "As far as the archdiocese is concerned, it had no knowledge of Father Glynn's propensities prior to the time of your alleged abuse. Thus, it cannot be faulted for his misconduct," Sister Helen Margaret Feeney, the archbishop's delegate for special needs, replied to the letter. She did, however, offer him counseling.

McSheffery had a day named in his honor by the mayor of Hartford in 1972. That same year, he is accused of molesting at least four boys at St. Augustine School in Hartford.

McSheffery was suspended in June 2002 after one of his alleged victims complained to the New Haven state's attorney.

Foley was chaplain of the Hartford Fire Department and pastor of Christ the King Church in Bloomfield in the late 1960s and early 1970s, when he is accused of molesting at least two boys.

John Collins, who lives in the Hartford area, claims in a lawsuit that Foley abused him in 1971.

The Rev. Louis Paturzo was hailed in 2002 for his work with Hartford gangs, prison inmates and Hartford middle school students. Then he was accused of molesting boys in the 1970s in Waterbury and Hamden.

Paturzo, who also served at Assumption Church in Ansonia, is accused of abusing a 13-year-old altar boy at Sacred Heart Church in Waterbury in the mid-1970s and a 12-year-old altar boy at Blessed Sacrament Church in Hamden in 1977.

According to the lawsuit, the boy met with Paturzo in the basement of Blessed Sacrament for altar boy training when Paturzo began tickling the boy and then molested him.

Paturzo was put on administrative leave, but his location is not being disclosed by the archdiocese.

In the 1970s, Paul was chaplain at St. Mary's Hospital in Waterbury. During that time, he has been accused in lawsuits of molesting two boys.

One victim, who asked to be identified only as Bill, said in a 2003 interview with the Connecticut Post that in December 1972, when he was 15, he was hospitalized at St. Mary's Hospital with severe burns to his legs, arms and hands. He underwent 13 skin graft operations. "In between operations, I would be bedridden, my hands and legs secured to the bed like I was in traction, unable to move. It was during one of those times that Father Paul came into my room to see how I was doing. He was talking to me and started to scratch my stomach, where I had skin taken and it was very itchy. Then his hand moved down to my thighs and I guess you could say he got carried away."

Bill said he was repeatedly molested by the priest at the hospital.

"I was in no position to fend him off," he said. Shiner is accused in a lawsuit of sexually abusing a boy several times in the early 1980s at St. Francis of Assisi Church in New Britain. Daniel Tepfer, who covers state courts and law enforcement issues, can be reached at 330-6308.


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