Counterclaim Filed Against Accuser
Tuesday, February 4, 2003
By Kathleen A. Shaw
Telegram & Gazette Staff
WORCESTER-- Raymond Tremblay, who is charged in a civil suit with
sexually abusing a local man when he was a religious education teacher
at Holy Name of Jesus Parish, has filed a counterclaim against the
man who brought the suit.
The counterclaim, which was filed against Timothy P. Staney as part
of Mr. Tremblay's answer to the suit, charges Mr. Staney with slander
and asks for compensatory damages.
James Gribouski, lawyer for Mr. Tremblay, did not return calls
yesterday seeking comment.
Mr. Staney of Worcester, who alleges in a civil suit filed in Worcester
Superior Court last fall that he was abused by Mr. Tremblay of Worcester
and also the Rev. Jean-Paul Gagnon, said he does not know what they
expect to get from him.
I don't own any property. Do they want my computer? I built
it myself and no one else would know how to use it, he said.
Mr. Staney and his parents, Corrine and Joseph Staney of Spencer,
filed the suit against Mr. Tremblay and the Rev. Gagnon but only
Timothy Staney is named in the counterclaim.
Daniel J. Shea of Houston, lawyer for Mr. Staney, said it is an
attempt to discredit Mr. Staney and cast doubt on his allegations.
David Clohessy, national director of Survivors Network of Those
Abused by Priests, said the action against Mr. Staney is one of
several cases going on in the United States where priests have sued
alleged victims. In the Worcester situation, the counterclaim has
been filed by a former church worker and not a priest.
Mr. Clohessy was in Worcester recently for the first meeting of
the local SNAP group. He said he heard about the counterclaim and
decided to offer public support to Mr. Staney.
The SNAP director said other countersuits have been filed against
people who have brought suit against allegedly abusive priests in
Cleveland; Oklahoma City; Tulsa, Okla.; and Orange County, Calif;
and in St. Paul, Minn.
It's a sad turn, said Patrick Noaker of St. Paul, Minn.,
a lawyer who specializes in sexual abuse cases. He is representing
Arthur Andreas of St. Louis. The St. Louis Archdiocese issued a
public call for victims of sexual misconduct by priests to come
forward, Mr. Noaker said. Mr. Andreas answered that call and
he did it confidentially, he said. No suit was filed and Mr.
Andreas never made his allegation public.
Mr. Noaker said the St. Louis Archdiocese eventually absolved the
Rev. Alex Anderson and the priest then filed a defamation suit against
Mr. Andreas. The suit is still pending.
Mr. Noaker said he believes the countersuit tactic is intended,
and in some instances is recommended and abetted by bishops, as
a way of putting a chill on victims coming forward.
In some cases it seems to be working, Mr. Noaker said.
Mr. Clohessy said SNAP believes filing of countersuits and claims
violates the norms adopted last year by the American bishops on
how sexual abuse allegations are to be handled.
According to the suit filed by Mr. Staney, Mr. Tremblay began using
his role as religious educator to sexually molest and abuse Mr.
Staney in several incidents, beginning in 1980 when he was 10 and
a member of Holy Name of Jesus parish. The alleged abuse continued
until he was 15.
Mr. Staney said the incidents happened at Mr. Tremblay's residence
in Worcester and at Holy Name of Jesus Church and school, 51-55
Illinois St., and at other locations.
According to Mr. Staney's suit, the Rev. Gagnon learned of the
abuse by Mr. Tremblay when Mr. Staney told him about it during confession.
The priest armed with that information, in effect, 'took over'
from Tremblay as the molester, according to the suit.
The Rev. Gagnon then molested and sexually abused Mr. Staney in
multiple incidents inside the rectory at 51 Illinois
St., at the Staney family home in Spencer, and in two incidents
at the Rev. Gagnon's summer home at Quinebaug Cove Campground, Brimfield,
according to the suit.