South Dakota High Court Upholds Dismissal of Abuse Lawsuit

June 24, 2011

The South Dakota Supreme Court says a Lower Brule man cannot continue his lawsuit seeking damages for alleged sex abuse at an Indian boarding school when he was a student more than 30 years ago.

The high court upheld a lower court’s dismissal of the case because Roger Rodriguez, also known as Roger Hickey, waited too long to file the lawsuit.

The lawsuit alleged that Rodriguez was sexually abused in the 1970s by two men who worked for the Congregation of the Priests of the Sacred Heart, which owned and operated the St. Joseph’s Indian School in Chamberlain.

The Supreme Court says state law requires that such lawsuits be filed within three years of the time someone was abused or should have discovered an injury was caused by the abuse.

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