Church Wins Appeal of Priest Sex Case in New York

March 27, 2009

New York’s top court has dismissed a lawsuit against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester involving a priest who was accused of having a sexual relationship with a woman he was counseling.

The Court of Appeals says the woman, identified only as Jane Doe, failed to prove she was uniquely vulnerable and incapable of protecting herself from the priest.

Previous rulings in trial and midlevel appeals courts had gone against the diocese and the priest.

Court records say the woman claimed a sexual relationship with the priest that lasted three years. The lawsuit was brought by the woman and her husband, who had complained about the relationship to the diocese. They claimed the diocese failed to properly supervise the priest.

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