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Another Settlement Reached in Alleged Westport Priest Sex Abuse Case

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport has settled another lawsuit alleging sexual abuse by a priest, this one involving a clergymans actions while serving at WestportҒs Assumption Church.
The claims against the Rev. Joseph Moore were settled separately from a $21 million deal reached last week to settle claims by 40 people who accused 16 priests of abuse, according to todays Connecticut Post.
Five of those priests had also served at Assumption. A total of seven priests involved in church sex abuse claims have served in Westport since the 60s, according to a Bridgeport law firm tracking the cases.
Joseph McAleer, a spokesman for the diocese, would not disclose the amount of the new settlement at the plaintiff’s request. He said money for the settlements are coming from insurance and the sale of undeveloped surplus diocesan property.


Flashback: Bishop William Lori announces a $21 million sex abuse settlement at a Bridgeport news conference last week. WestportNow.com photo

Moore, who served at Assumption in the early 70s, declined to comment when reached at his home in Rutland, Vt., according to the AP.
Bruce Gordon, a Bridgeport lawyer representing the plaintiff, also refused to comment.
When the settlement was reached was not immediately clear. It apparently was reached at the same time the lawsuit was filed in Bridgeport Superior Court, the Post reported.
The plaintiff, identified only as John Doe, says he was sexually assaulted several times by Moore at Assumption between 1973 and 1975 when he was a child.
The lawsuit alleges that diocesan officials learned that Moore had abused children but assigned him to Assumption Church anyway, where he still had access to children.
In 2001, the diocese settled another claim against Moore, who was accused of molesting a boy at St. Mary Parish in Bethel in the early 1980s.
McAleer said Moore was removed from ministry in 1997 and has no authorization to serve as a priest.
Last week’s settlement included one priest picked up by Westport police in 1968 for allegedly molesting a boy in his car. (WestportNow, Oct. 16, 2003)
Details of that settlement were announced by Bishop William Lori. The settlement was the second in two years for the diocese. It had reached a financial settlement in 2001 involving five priests and 26 plaintiffs.
Lori told a Bridgeport news conference that with the latest $21 million settlement, the diocese now has agreed to pay out $37.7 million in such claims.

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