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Man Sues Diocese and Two Priests Over Abuse
The lawsuit was barred by the statute of limitations.

A Maryland court ruled that a 34—year—old adult's lawsuit against a diocese and two priests who molested him when he was a minor was barred by the statute of limitations. The victim was repeatedly molested by the two priests while serving as an altar boy over a period of 6 years. The priests gained his trust by giving him money and gifts. One of the priests used pornographic materials while molesting the victim, and also took pornographic pictures of him. The victim claimed that the archdiocese learned as early as 1967 that one of the priests was a pedophile, and required him to undergo therapy. The priest was later assigned to the parish in which the victim served as an altar boy. The victim claimed that it was not until he was 33 years old (in 1994), when his marriage was "falling apart," that he first became aware that he had been injured as a result of the priests actions. He sued the priests and the archdiocese in 1995, when he was 34 years old. He claimed that the archdiocese was legally responsible for his injuries on the basis of negligent hiring, placement, and supervision. A state appeals court concluded that the victims lawsuit was barred by the Maryland statute of limitations, which requires personal injury lawsuits to be filed within 3 years of the date a victim "knew or, with due diligence, reasonably should have known of the wrong." The victim claimed that he was aware of the priests conduct but did not appreciate the offensiveness of it or realize that he had been harmed until he began experiencing marital difficulties in 1994, and therefore the statute of limitations should not start running until that date. A state appeals court disagreed, concluding that "if any memory of sexual abuse suffered during childhood survives into adulthood, the statute of limitations begins to run when the victim reaches the age of majority." Further, "even if no memory at all survives into adulthood, the limitations period still begins to run on the date the victim reaches the age of majority."

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