More Charges of Sexual Abuse Surface Against Former Priest Geoghan
John Geoghan, a defrocked Boston priest already accused of sexually abusing 86 young boys, has been named in 17 new lawsuits filed against the Catholic Church for allegedly sexually abusing 17 boys—ages 8 to 15— between 1964 and 1996. The lawsuits also name 20 other clergy members who worked with Geoghan or supervised him including Cardinal Bernard F. Law. These new lawsuits come just two weeks after the Roman Catholic Archdiocese succeeded in reducing by one-third the $30 million settlement that had been proposed last May to 86 victims of sexual abuse by Geoghan.
The Boston Archdiocese vows it is committed to helping the victims, offering therapy through its Office for Healing and Assistance Ministry and scheduling private meetings with Cardinal Bernard Law. However, Mitchell Garabedian, attorney for victims in the new cases, argues: “The archdiocese has refused to grant [therapy] coverage to individuals who need it, refused to renew coverage, refused to provide coverage for desperately needed marital counseling and refused to extend coverage,” according to the Associated Press.
Geoghan is currently serving a nine- to 10-year prison sentence for fondling a 10-year-old boy in a swimming pool in the early 1990s, and has been accused of molesting more than 130 children since the 1980s. Geoghan faces 19 civil and 2 criminal suits.
Media Resources: NY Times 10/3/02; Reuters 10/3/02; Associated Press 10/3/02; Feminist Daily News Wire