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Co-Plaintiffs Sue Archdiocese, Allege Sex Abuse From Priests

Jan 8, 2003 | The Oregonian A man and a woman have sued the Archdiocese of Portland, accusing priests of molesting them when they were children.

The co-plaintiffs, using the initials S.E. and T.B., each are seeking $3.1 million in compensatory damages.

The suit was filed Monday in Multnomah County Circuit Court.

S.E. says she was molested when she was 4 to 7 years old between 1969 and 1971 by a "Father Deis" at Sacred Heart Church.

Bud Bunce, a spokesman for the Portland Archdiocese, says the Rev. Nicholas Deis was assigned from 1972 to 1973 to Sacred Heart Church in Newport. From 1969 to 1972, he was in Junction City.

Deis died in 1984. He was 75.

T.B. claims he was sexually abused when he was 10 to 14 years old from 1958 to 1962 by a unnamed priest at Queen of Peace church in North Portland.

Michael S. Morey, the Lake Oswego attorney representing the two plaintiffs, did not return a call seeking comment.

In the past three years, more than 130 people have sued the Portland Archdiocese, which covers Oregon west of the Cascades, and the Baker Diocese, which includes the central and eastern parts of the state.

The suits seek more than $500 million in compensatory damages.

Alleging abuse from 1938 to 1984, the suits accuse more than 35 priests and religious clergy. Most of the priests are dead. The Portland Archdiocese has reached confidential settlements with more than 30 plaintiffs.

Lawyers for the remaining plaintiffs, the Portland Archdiocese, various religious orders and their insurers are scheduled to begin mediation in late February to try to settle the outstanding cases.

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