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  Home :: Papal Visit - USA :: USA - Clergy sex abuse suit adds $100M
United States of America
The Pope and his addressing the issue of clergy and sexual abuse by priests.

PORTSMOUTH— A former Seacoast resident is asking for an additional $100 millionin damages now that he has refiled a civil lawsuit against the Dioceseof Manchester and Bishop John McCormick over alleged clergy abuse

DanielBrown, who now lives in Key West, Fla., had to refile because of aclerical error in the first suit, which did not include the address ofthe diocese.

Now,Brown, 47, on the advice of an attorney, has raised the amount ofdamages he is seeking from $30 million to $130 million. He claims thatbecause he was raped at the age of 16 by Father William Houle, a priestwho later died of complications from AIDS, that the negligence of thediocese resulted in his own medical condition.

NowHIV positive, Brown said he brought the suit now to be within theseven-year statute of limitations that started when he learned Houledied from AIDS.

"I spoke with an attorney and... I have been told a million times by attorneys that New Hampshirejurors are very conservative," said Brown, reached by phone. "When youlook at legal fees and tax ramifications, if awarded a smallsettlement, I could wind up with next to nothing."

Inan earlier interview, Brown said what he wants is ta settlement thatwill allow him to continue his quality of life and to be able to stayin his own home for the rest of his life.

Thediocese has not yet been served the new lawsuit. A clerk inHillsborough Superior Court said it had received Brown's mailing but ithad not been entered into the system yet.

Attorney Brian Quirk, representing the diocese, said he is confident the case will be dismissed.

"Itis the practice and policy of the diocese to respond with concern toany reports of a person claiming to have been harmed by churchpersonnel," said Quirk. "The original documents previously provided bythe media contain allegations that are without merit."

Brownalleges that he was raped in 1977 at a Cabot Street apartment inPortsmouth. A death certificate for Houle from the commonwealth ofMassachusetts indicates he died on April 30, 1987, from respiratoryarrest as a consequence of having AIDS.

Brownbelieves that it was Houle who infected him for two reasons, the firstbeing the number of years it can take for symptoms to show up.

Houlewas a priest at St. Mary's Church in Dover. During that time, Houle hada room in the Cabot Street apartment he shared with two other men.

Thesecond reason, he said, is that from the time he was 20 to 28, he wasin a monogamous relationship with a man who was not HIV positive.

A private investigation was done by Kroll, a risk consulting company, at the request of Brown.

Ina deposition given to Kroll by one of his former roommates, the mansaid, "If there is a devil on earth, he's it," referring to Houle, whowas known locally as "Father Willy."

Accordingto all witnesses, Houle frequently picked up young men and brought themback to the Cabot Street apartment. The witnesses also said theybelieved Houle was a drug user who supplied the young men with drugs.Others said that there were gay pornographic materials in his room,many showing sexual positions and the use of leather.

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Pedophilia and sexual abuse of children in Australia