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Lawsuit Filed Against Helena Diocese In Sex Abuse Allegation

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32 plaintiffs, 16 named and 16 unnamed, have filed a lawsuit in Montana District Court against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Helena, alleging the church hid priest sexual abusers in its realm.

According to a press conference held by plaintiff attorneys, numerous former priests and church representatives conducted illegal and immoral sexual behavior towards children, which were allowed or hidden by church leaders.

Multiple serial abused from the Helena Diocese were identified in an earlier lawsuit against the Society of Jesus, Northwest Province, in which 500 sex abuse claims were involved. The case was settled for $166 million.

The  Diocese held a press conference where Renee St. Martin Wizeman, communications services director for the diocese said, “In our initial reading, it appears that these are the same plaintiffs who brought claims against members of the Oregon-based Jesuit Order in the bankruptcy proceedings in the state of Oregon,” and that the  “claims appear to be between 30 and 60 years old and involve defendants who are deceased.”

An attorney for the plaintiffs said that “The diocese of Helena was staffed by nondiocesan personnel, so we’re also talking about orders of priests, Jesuits, Claricians, Ursuline nuns, Sisters of Providence, and we have allegations of female abusers within these orphanages and schools that were operated by the Diocese of Helena,” and that it was “important that people understand that this is a foreign sovereign operating in this country that takes its direction from the pope sitting in Rome.”

No allegations are being made against current members of the diocese, and attorneys are asking that anybody with information come forward.

The lawsuit seeks unspecified monetary punitive damages and a number of public acknowledgements, which are referred to as equitable relief. disclaimer: This article: Lawsuit Filed Against Helena Diocese In Sex Abuse Allegation was posted on Thursday, September 22nd, 2011 at 7:39 pm at and is filed under Personal Injury Lawsuits.

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