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Man Alleges Sexual Abuse; Sues Priest and Diocese

Experts find that cases of memory suppression are unlikely.


A Louisiana court ruled that a 32—year—old adult's lawsuit against a diocese and a priest who molested him when he was a minor was barred by the statute of limitations. The victim claimed that he was molested when he was 14 years old by his parish priest. He insisted that he had no recollection of the molestation until he watched a television program on sexual misconduct by clergy when he was 32 years old. This program allegedly "restored his memory" of the acts of molestation that occurred when he was 14. He filed a lawsuit within a few weeks, but a trial court dismissed the case on the basis of the statute of limitations. It rejected the victims claim that the statute of limitations did not begin to run until his memory of the molestation was restored after watching the television program.

There are a number of aspects to the court's ruling that are worth noting:

1. The court ...

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  • July 1, 1997

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