Woman can sue Catholic Church in Pa. over alleged priest abuse 40 years ago, court says
With an important victory for sexual abuse victims, a Pennsylvania court has recently ruled that a woman can pursue her lawsuit claiming clergy in the Altoona-Johnstown, PA Roman Catholic Diocese covered up her alleged molestation by a priest. The lawsuit was initially dismissed by a county judge in 2017 because the statute of limitations had expired. However, a three-judge Superior Court panel reinstated the woman’s lawsuit which claims that two bishops illegally tried to cover up her sexual abuse by a priest to protect their reputations. The ruling may allow more sexual abuse victims whose abuse occurred long ago, to file claims.
The accused priest is Reverend Charles Bodziak and the woman claims that he abused her about 40 years ago while she attended St. Leo’s Church in Altoona, PA. The names of the two accused bishops who covered up the sexual abuse are retired Bishop Joseph Adamec, and deceased Bishop James Hogan.
This decision follows a separate grand jury report that indicated six other PA dioceses found more than 300 priests abused children over seven decades.
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