A 55-year-old man is suing the Archdiocese of Miami for Florida personal injury. The plaintiff, Willard Trent, says that a priest sexually abused him when he was an altar boy during the 1960’s. Trent is seeking in excess of $5 million in damages.
At the time the alleged Florida sexual abuse incidents were taking place, the priest, Father Thomas Dennehy, was the pastor of St. John the Baptist church and the principal of Cardinal Gibbons High School. He retired in 1993 and died in 1999.
Trent claims that the sex abuse happened on more than one occasion. He says that sodomy and oral sex were involved and that Dennehy would occasionally dress him in a Catholic school girl’s uniform. Trent says that other priests participated in some of the sexual acts. He says that he repressed the memories until last year when he went back to the church and his memories resurfaced. Trent contends that the Archdiocese know that Dennehy was sexually abusing minors and chose to conceal the alleged incidents. The Archdiocese has said that until Trent stepped forward, it was unaware of any alleged sexual abuse incidents involving Dennehy.
Sexual Abuse as Personal Injury
Unfortunately, over the years many children have been victimized by clergy sex abuse. In many incidents, the molestation and sexual assault incidents were concealed up by the Catholic Church while the alleged perpetrators involved were transferred to other parishes where more child sex abuse allegations would then surfaces.
Sexual abuse of any kind causes grave emotional and psychological injury to its victims. Not only can a perpetrator be sent to jail for assaulting or molesting another person, but he or she can also be held liable for Miami personal injury.
Willard Trent Sues Archdiocese of Miami for $5 Million Over Alleged Sexual Abuse, Miami New Times, October 5, 2010
Archdiocese of Miami sued in sex abuse claims, Miami-Dade, October 6, 2010
Man: Priest Sexually Assaulted Me 40 Years Ago, CBS4, October 5, 2010
Related Web Resources:
Archdiocese of Miami
Abuse in the Catholic Church, The Boston Globe