Sunday, June 23, 2002

Accusers must name names, judge rules

        LEXINGTON — Plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the Catholic dioceses of Lexington and Covington must reveal their identities and those of their alleged sexual abusers as well as give specifics of their allegations, a judge has ruled.

Click here for all Enquirer reports on accusations or actions against local priests.
        Fayette Circuit Judge Mary Noble ruled Friday that the file will be sealed from public view when the more detailed lawsuit is filed in the next 20 days.

        In Louisville, media are challenging the constitutionality of a Kentucky law that allows court records to be sealed to protect children.

        The $50 million lawsuit in Lexington was filed by attorney Robert Treadway in late May on behalf of four men and one woman who allege that up to 30 years ago they were abused by priests and that the church covered up the crimes.

        The suit refers only to four John Does and a Jane Doe, and does not go into detail.

        The Catholic dioceses, however, say they have to have specifics spelled out in the suit to intelligently respond.

        The Covington Diocese is arguing that the statute of limitations for the lawsuit has passed, barring the class action. The church indicated the plaintiffs should have been aware of problems with priests in the early 1990s, when there was widespread publicity and allegations of diocesan coverup after the Rev. Earl Bierman was sentenced to 20 years in prison for sexually abusing students at Covington Latin School.


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