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Lawsuit Filed Over Alleged Priest's Abuse

May 18, 2002 | KITV

Two men filed suit against the Roman Catholic Church in Hawaii, claiming a priest in Kalihi sexually molested them in the 1980s.

The men remain island residents. Their attorneys call the attacks shocking.

"The lawsuit among other things alleges this particular father between 1985 and 1987 sexually molested two altar boys when they were in the fifth and sixth grade," attorney Michael Green said.

The lawsuit said the molestations occurred at St. John the Baptist Church in Kalihi.

Catholic Church spokesman Patrick Downes said, "We haven't seen the lawsuit and therefore cannot comment at this time."

The Catholic Church said the priest in question is not practicing right now and in fact was relocated to the mainland.

The lawsuit said the two boys, now in their 20s, repressed the memory of the molestations until they were suddenly reawakened by recent media attention to priests who sexually assault youngsters.

"These young men have come forward not happily, but to be part of the solution, to put a top to this. They realize secrecy and silence is what has allowed this kind of evil to exist in the Roman Catholic Church for far too many years," attorney David Gierlach said.

The lawsuit also said the church failed to warn that the priest was a danger to children.

The lawsuit asks for an unspecified amount of damages.

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