TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) -- A judge on Wednesday dismissed a civillawsuit in which a woman accused a Roman Catholic priest --convicted in a separate case last year of killing a nun -- of takingpart in ritual abuse ceremonies nearly 40 years ago.
Lucas County Common Pleas Judge Ruth Ann Franks granted a motionto dismiss the case filed on behalf of the Rev. Gerald Robinson,the Catholic Diocese of Toledo and others named in the suit,WNWO-TV reported on its Web site.
In the lawsuit, the woman, who was not identified, claimed thatRobinson and other clergy members tortured and raped her as a younggirl in a church basement.
Robinson's attorneys have denied thewoman's claims.
In a separate criminal case, Robinson, 68, was found guilty onMay 11 of choking and stabbing Sister Margaret Ann Pahl in 1980.
Hewas sentenced to a mandatory term of 15 years to life in prison.
Robinson's attorney, John Thebes, told WNWO that the motion todismiss the civil lawsuit was based on the statute of limitationsthat a suit must be filed within a specified number of years.
At the time the suit was filed in 2005, the statute oflimitations was two years after an alleged victim turned 18.
TheLegislature has since extended the statute to 12 years after thevictim turns 18.
"Too much time elapsed and, essentially, barred the ... casebecause of time," Thebes said. "So the court, at least in thiscase, really had no choice but to follow the law, which clearlysaid this case should be dismissed."
Thebes did not return a message from The Associated Press.
Amessage seeking comment also was left late Wednesday for diocesespokeswoman Sally Oberski.
In the lawsuit, the woman said the group cut her with a knife aspart of a sacrifice, drew an upside-down cross on her stomach andheld lit matches to her feet and her eyes.
She said the molestationtook place from 1968 to 1975.
In a court motion against the dismissal, the woman said she didnot know the Rev. Gerald Robinson's name until she saw him ontelevision in 2004 after he was charged in the nun's killing.
Themotion argued that the time period for when she could file thelawsuit did not begin until she knew her abuser's identity.
Other defendants in the lawsuit were St. Adalbert Parish andSchool, the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales and Gerald Mazuchowski,a former lay minister.
The woman said she identified Mazuchowski after seeing hisphotograph in the newspaper. Mazuchowski, a retired schoolteacher,denied the allegations.
Toledo Priest Convicted In Nun's Slaying (5/11/06)
View Of Priests Has Changed Since Nun's Murder In 1980 (5/14/06)
Ohio Supreme Court To Consider Time Limits In Church Abuse Case (6/29/05)
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