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Clergy Abuse (DNU)
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Man Sues Catholic Diocese For Alleged Abuse

Jul 18, 2003 | AP

A man who claims he was sexually assaulted as a teenager by a Fort Madison priest is suing the Roman Catholic Diocese of Davenport.

Court documents filed in Lee County Thursday do not identify the man or the priest, but church officials said it was Monsignor Drake Shafer.

Shafer decided on his own to come forward. He denies the allegations.

The unnamed victim said the assault occurred in the early '70s when he was 14 or 15 years old. The man claims he took part in many church activities and came to trust and revere Shafer as a holy man and authority figure.

The victim claims the abuse caused him to block out any memory of it for several years. The lawsuit also claims church officials were negligent in failing to prevent Shafer from engaging in sexual misconduct.

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