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Bridgeport Diocese Settles Sex Abuse Claim

Victim Was Allegedly Assaulted Between 1973 and 1975

Oct 22, 2003 | AP

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport has settled another lawsuit alleging sexual abuse by a priest.

The claims against the Rev. Joseph Moore were settled separately from a $21 million deal reached last week to settle claims by 40 people who accused 16 priests of abuse.

Joseph McAleer, a spokesman for the diocese, would not disclose the amount of the new settlement at the plaintiff's request. He said money for the settlements are coming from insurance and the sale of undeveloped surplus diocesan property. Moore declined to comment when reached at his home in Rutland, Vt. Bruce Gordon, a Bridgeport lawyer representing the plaintiff, also refused to comment.

When the settlement was reached was not immediately clear. It apparently was reached at the same time the lawsuit was filed in Bridgeport Superior Court, the newspaper reported. The plaintiff, identified only as John Doe, said that he was sexually assaulted several times by Moore at Assumption Parish in Westport, Conn., between 1973 and 1975 when he was a child. The lawsuit alleges that diocesan officials learned that Moore had abused children but assigned him to Assumption Church anyway, where he still had access to children.

In 2001, the diocese settled another claim against Moore, who was accused of molesting a boy at St. Mary Parish in Bethel in the early 1980s. McAleer said Moore was removed from ministry in 1997 and has no authorization to serve as a priest. Moore was stationed at St. Theresa's Parish in Trumbull, Conn., from 1972 to 1973, Assumption Church from 1974 to 1975, St. Joseph Church in Danbury, Conn., from 1976 to 1981 and St. Mary's Church in Bethel, Conn., from 1982 to 1983. From 1984 to 1996, he is listed in church records as being on duty outside the diocese.

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