Priest Abuse Case Inches Through Discovery
(CN) - A man who claims that he was sexually molested in the first grade by a priest cannot challenge the scope of discovery in his claims against the Diocese of Camden, N.J., a federal judge ruled.
Mark Bryson, 52, alleges that he suffered traumatic amnesia and repressed memories until Feb. 10, 2010, when he saw a man who triggered memories of his alleged abuser, the Rev. Joseph Shannon.
Bryson then filed a federal complaint against the Diocese of Camden, alleging negligence and breach of fiduciary duty claims.
The diocese moved to dismiss, arguing that the statute of limitations bars Bryson's claims because the abuse occurred over 40 years ago. Citing the 1972 decision Lopez v. Swyer, Bryson countered that New Jersey's discovery rule tolls the statute of limitations until a plaintiff knows of the wrong suffered.
After the court ordered a preliminary Lopez hearing, Bryson asked the diocese to explain its burden in defending the lawsuit. The diocese responded that it did not know whether 28 Diocesan officials who supervised Father Shannon "had any knowledge which would be admissible at trial - because these individuals are long since dead."
When U.S. Magi...
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.