Sex Suit Accuses Ex-Nun

By Jorge Fitz-Gibbon
Daily News
February 25, 1996

A ex-nun has admitted on tape that she forced a former Catholic grade school student of hers into a five-year sexual affair, a lawyer for the alleged victim says.

The one-time student, now 21 and claiming to be an emotional cripple as a result of the liaison, is suing the Archdiocese of New York for $ 150 million. Sources said he will soon meet with Bronx prosecutors to discuss criminal charges against Linda Baisi.

The young man's attorney, Michael Dowd, says he has secret tapes made by Baisi earlier last week on which she implicates herself as the woman who ruined her ex-student's life.

According to his lawsuit, the alleged victim was a 12-year-old seventh-grader when he was first lured into performing sexual acts with Baisi, a former nun who was his homeroom teacher at St. Frances De Chantal, a parochial grade school on Harding Ave. in the Bronx.

Baisi, now the school's principal, allegedly showered her student with gifts and cash and even did his homework to ensure his silence during their affair, which lasted until he was 17 and in high school elsewhere.

Dowd, who wouldn't name his client, filed suit in Manhattan Supreme Court on Feb. 8, contending that the encounters left the young man with an "addiction to alcohol" and unable "to engage in normal emotional and sexual development."

"You can just imagine what that does to the head of a 12-year-old kid," Dowd said. "If the church could take him back to the day before this happened and let him live a normal life again, we'd drop the lawsuit tomorrow.

"This is not repressed memory," Dowd said. "This is something he was regrettably living with for a long time. It's pretty hard to repair that damage."

Baisi's lawyer, Brian O'Dwyer, was unavailable for comment yesterday. A law partner, Frank Durkin, refused to comment, saying he has not seen the papers. He said Baisi, who has taken a leave of absence, had no comment either.

Joseph Zwilling, a spokesman for the Archdiocese of New York, called the matter "a very serious allegation which we are taking very seriously."


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