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New Molestation Complaint To Be Open To Public

Jan 17, 2003 | The Courier-Journal

An attorney for a Bullitt County woman suing a Catholic priest and the Archdiocese of Louisville on behalf of her two sons, agreed yesterday to file a revised complaint that will allow public access to the allegations.

The lawyer, John Cox, filed the lawsuit against the archdiocese and the Rev. Daniel Clark in October with a motion to seal the complaint, which is the document that lists the allegations in a lawsuit.

The lawsuit was filed in Jefferson Circuit Court. Judge Lisabeth Hughes Abramson granted the motion, she said, because the names of the children, who are minors, were in the lawsuit.

Attorneys for The Courier-Journal objected to the sealing.

At a hearing yesterday, Abramson said her sole motivation in sealing the complaint was to protect the identity of the children. She said she had planned to ask Cox to file a new complaint that would identify the children only by their initials.

Cox agreed to do that.

Kenyon Meyer, an attorney for the newspaper, said as long as the original sealed complaint was removed from the file ''then I don't think we have any grounds to object to that.''

Abramson said she would order that the original complaint with the children's names be returned to Cox.

Edward Stopher, an attorney for the archdiocese, did not attend yesterday's hearing but wrote a letter to Abramson beforehand saying that he did not object.

The complaint accuses Clark of molesting the boys between 1998 and last year. The boys are the same ones whom Clark is accused of abusing in a criminal indictment issued in August by a Bullitt County grand jury, Cox has said previously.

Clark has pleaded innocent to the criminal charges.

The Bullitt County woman's lawsuit is one of 201 filed since April against the archdiocese in Jefferson Circuit Court, claiming that officials failed to report sexual abuse by priests, church employees and affiliates.

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