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New Priest Named In Church Abuse Suit

Mar 28, 2003 | AP

A woman claims she was sexually abused by a Roman Catholic priest who made regular visits to her childhood home.

Lysha Beckman Sitzman filed suit Friday against the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Louisville in Jefferson County Circuit Court. Sitzman claims she was abused by a former priest, Joseph E. Carrico, who is not named as a defendant.

Sitzman's suit is one of more than 200 suits pending against the Louisville archdiocese. The suits claim the church was aware of the abuse but did nothing to stop it. More than two dozen priests and church employees have been accused of abuse in the suits.

In 1968, Sitzman and her family were parishioners at St. Barnabus in Louisville. Carrico was employed at the church during that time, said Cecelia Price, spokeswoman for the archdiocese.

Sitzman claims that Carrico visited her home on multiple occasions and forced her to masturbate him in an upstairs bedroom, the suit says. Sitzman was 7 years old at the time of the alleged abuse.

Price said Carrico was a priest within the archdiocese from 1967-74. After taking a brief leave of absence in 1973, Carrico requested to leave the priesthood.

Carrico currently works as a part-time religious educator at St. Gregory's School in Samuels. He has been suspended with paid pending the investigation.

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