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Wolcott Man Files Abuse Claim Against Priest

Mar 19, 2003 | AP Another sex abuse lawsuit has been filed against the Rev. Stephen C. Foley, a former state police and fire chaplain.

Ted Fortier, 41, of Wolcott, claims Foley sexually abused him in 1976 as they traveled to New York City to attend a firemen's parade, according to Fortier's attorney, Thomas McNamara.

Foley denies that he ever sexually abused anyone, according to Walter Hampton, his attorney.

Foley, now 61, is still a priest, but he has been removed from all public service. He lives at St. Thomas More Seminary in Bloomfield.

"Father Foley is very troubled by these allegations," Hampton said. "He has given his entire life to the priesthood. He takes his trust very seriously. It disturbs him deeply that anyone might doubt that."

Fortier also names in the lawsuit Christ the King Church, where Foley was the pastor, and the Archdiocese of Hartford.

Jack Sitarz, an attorney for the archdiocese, said he could not comment on the specifics of Fortier's lawsuit.

Two other men say Foley abused them while he was pastor at Christ the King Church. The other three incidents allegedly happened while he was pastor at St. Robert Bellarmine Church in Windsor Locks.

Foley was placed on administrative leave in August 1993, when he was pastor of St. Dunstan's Church in Glastonbury, after it became known that a sexual abuse allegation had been lodged against him, said the Rev. John P. Gatzak, a spokesman for the archdiocese.

Foley was removed as a state police chaplain around that time, and has been assigned to St. Thomas More Seminary since.

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