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Reno's Rev. Bowling Named In New Ky. Church Abuse Suit

Jan 21, 2003 | AP Six priests, one from Reno, Nev. and a female teacher are accused of sexual abuse in nine new lawsuits filed Tuesday against the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Louisville, bringing the total number of suits against the archdiocese to 210 since April.

Three of the lawsuits filed in Jefferson County Circuit Court accuse the Rev. Louis E. Miller, who is named in 70 other lawsuits against the church. Miller, who has retired, also faces criminal sexual abuse charges in Jefferson and Oldham counties.

In the suits, most of the plaintiffs allege they were sexually abused as children or teenagers. The plaintiffs in the suits filed Tuesday include five men who either served as altar boys or were students, and four women, including three who claim the abuse happened while they attended Catholic schools. The fourth woman alleges she was sexually abused while she was pregnant and receiving care at a Catholic hospital in Reno, Nev.

The suits accuse the church of being aware of a pattern of abuse and failing to protect the plaintiffs.

The archdiocese declined to comment on the pending litigation, spokeswoman Cecelia Price said.

Charles M. Kremer alleges Miller sexually abused and battered him while at Holy Spirit Church and School. Kremer says the abuse happened when he was an 11-year-old altar boy in 1959.

Another suit accuses Miller of sexually abusing Arthur G. Busch Jr. in 1964 when Busch was a 12-year-old altar boy at SS. Mary and Elizabeth Hospital.

Another plaintiff, Neil A. Erny, was a seventh-grader at St. Elizabeth of Hungary Church in the 1970s when he claims Miller began abusing him.

One of the suits accuses teacher Patricia Brosmer of sexually abusing Kathleen T. Breen, who was then a seventh-grader at St. John Vianney School. Breen alleges two years after the abuse ended, she showed church authorities a ring that Brosmer gave her to"memorialize their relationship"and was informed the teacher was employed by St. Thomas-St. Vincent Orphanage. Breen's is the first lawsuit against the Louisville archdiocese to name a woman as an alleged abuser.

Brosmer taught at St. John Vianney from 1958 to 1966. Her last job with the archdiocese was at St. Rita Church and School from 1970 to 1972.

In another suit, Kathleen Carla Huber describes how she was allegedly abused following confession in 1950 by the Rev. Bernard Gallagher. Huber said she was then a fourth-grader at Holy Trinity Church.

Archdiocese records only showed a John Donald Gallagher employed at Holy Trinity from 1945 to 1951."It's the same guy,"Huber's lawyer, William McMurry, said Tuesday night.

Pat Lawrence claims she was sexually molested and assaulted in the 1950s by the Rev. C. Patrick Creed while she was in the fourth and fifth grades at Holy Name Church and School. Creed was associate pastor of the church from 1951 to 1959, archdiocese records show.

Another woman, Theresa J. Brennan-Pettipas, alleges the Rev. Robert A. Bowling entered her hospital room at St. Mary's Hospital in Reno in 1983 and fondled her. Brennan-Pettipas, who was then pregnant, alleges Bowling also told her to forget having her baby baptized in any parish in Reno.

In her suit, Brennan-Pettipas alleges that before Bowling transferred to Reno, the Louisville Archdiocese had knowledge of an alleged history of abuse against women by Bowling. The priest is accused in at least nine other suits against the archdiocese.

Gary T. Compton, 49, alleges that as a 10-year-old student at St. Elizabeth of Hungary, the Rev. Arthur L. Wood sexually abused and battered him.

Wood, who died in 1983 at age 59, is named in at least 35 suits by people suing over alleged abuse in the Louisville archdiocese.

Another lawsuit accuses the Rev. Edwin J. Scherzer of sexually abusing Thomas L. Weiter in 1965, when the plaintiff was 12 and attending St. Therese's Church and School. Scherzer is named in at least two other suits against the archdiocese.

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