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Archdiocese Faces New Suit

Apr 13, 2003 | AP A deceased Roman Catholic priest was accused in a lawsuit of sexually abusing a boy in the mid-1960s.

The lawsuit filed Friday in Jefferson County Circuit Court against the Archdiocese of Louisville accuses the late Rev. Arthur Wood of sexually abusing David Bartley. It is the 234th to be filed against the archdiocese since last April. Five of those suits have been settled.

The new complaint alleges that Wood sexually abused Bartley in 1964-65 when Bartley was a student and altar boy at St. Elizabeth of Hungary Church and School. The complaint does not list Bartley's age.

He accuses the archdiocese of knowing of Wood's behavior, or that it should have known of the behavior, and alleges that the archdiocese concealed allegations against Wood.

In responses filed in previous cases, the archdiocese has denied those allegations.

Archdiocesan spokeswoman Cecelia Price declined to comment Friday on the new lawsuit, citing archdiocesan policy regarding pending litigation.

Bartley is represented by attorney Lewis Benham. Attempts to reach Benham and Bartley were unsuccessful.

Wood, who died in 1983 at age 59, now is accused of child sexual abuse in 37 suits filed against the archdiocese, which is the second-highest number naming a single priest.

He is surpassed only by the Rev. Louis E. Miller, now retired, who has been named in 89 lawsuits.

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