New lawsuit alleges sexual abuse in Fort Worth Catholic Diocese

Today’s post was shared by The Workers’ Injury Law & Advocacy Group and comes from www.star-telegram.com


A man who lives near Spokane, Wash., is suing the Fort Worth Roman Catholic Diocese saying he was sexually assaulted in the 1990s by a priest who was his seventh-grade history teacher at a Catholic school in Wichita Falls.

The victim, identified in court documents as John Doe 117, also named Fort Worth Bishop Michael Olson in the suit filed this week in Tarrant County district court.

The victim is seeking over $1 million in damages for emotional anguish, medical expenses and diminished earning capacity because of what is described in the suit as a “sadistic ritual of sexual abuse” by the late priest John Sutton.

Sutton, who died in 2004, told the student that if he told anyone of their encounters that “I have the power to ruin your life,” according to the suit.

In a emailed statement to the Star-Telegram, Fort Worth diocese spokesman Pat Svacina wrote that there is an ongoing investigation of the victim’s claims of abuse.

“Bishop Michael F. Olson personally knows John Doe and his family. The bishop traveled to Washington state in order to provide pastoral care to the former student and family members and to learn more about the allegations,” according to the statement.

The suit alleges that when the victim was in seventh grade at Notre Dame Middle-High School in Wichita Falls, Sutton was his history teacher and a school chaplain. Olson was a seminarian at a Wichita Falls church near the school and knew Sutton, the…

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