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Former Priest Named In Second Sex-Abuse Lawsuit

Jul 31, 2004 | AP

A former Louisiana priest is now named in a second sexual abuse lawsuit, this one involving five former altar boys and allegations spanning from 1968 to 1980.

The alleged victims' names were not disclosed in the lawsuit filed late Friday against Christopher Springer.

The lawsuit asks for money to cover medical expenses, pain and suffering, mental anguish, lost earning capacity and other damages.

It also asks that the church be ordered to pay punitive damages, claiming that would "deter the outrageous conduct taken in heedless and reckless disregard for the safety" of the alleged victims.

Another suit filed in January 2003 by former altar boy Patrick Myers is pending against Springer, the Baton Rouge diocese and others.

While the names of the defendants are not disclosed in the lawsuit, their addresses were, which are the same as those used in the Myers case.

Defendants from the Myers case are Springer, Bishop Robert W. Muench, the Very Rev. Thomas Picton, vice provincial of The Redemptorists/New Orleans Vice Province, the Redemptorist order and the diocese's insurance companies.

Picton said he could not comment Friday because he had not been served a copy of the lawsuit.

The lawsuit filed Friday alleges the abuse occurred while Springer was a Redemptorist - or diocesan priest - at St. Gerard Majella Prison, Our Lady of Lord's Parish in Slidell, St. Alphonsus Parish in New Orleans, St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Plaquemine, St. Pius X Church in Baton Rouge, St. Mary's of False River Catholic Church, Pointe Coupee Church and Our Lady of the Assumption Church in Clinton.

"This sexual abuse arose from the exercise of authority, power and access created by (Springer's) job assignments and official duties as a Catholic priest," according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit also alleges that Redemptorist officials and Baton Rouge diocese officials knew or should have been aware of Springer's actions, but did not take action to make it stop.

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