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Ex-Catholic Priest Settles Boston Child Sex Abuse Lawsuit With Former Student

Sean Leo Rooney, an ex-Roman Catholic priest, has settled a Boston sexual abuse lawsuit filed by a man who claims that the defendant molested him when he was a 14-year old student. According to the plaintiff, now 48, Rooney masturbated and fondled him on a bus during a school trip to Massachusetts and also while at the Salesian Junior Seminary in New York where he was studying. The former priest was on the faculty there at the time.

In his Massachusetts sex abuse case, the plaintiff said that he didn’t realize until years later that it was Rooney’s behavior that had caused him such harm. He says that he continues to suffer from emotional trauma, depression, panic attacks, sleeping difficulties, and problems with alcohol because of the explicit abuse committed by the defendant.

Rooney was a priest for 50 years before he was defrocked six years ago. Aside from the civil case, Rooney could also be subject to criminal charges in Massachusetts. Last week, BishopAccountability.org, a watchdog group, added Rooney’s name, and the names of three other people, to its public database of religious leaders accused of sex abuse.

The plaintiff also settled the Massachusetts sex abuse case with Salesian Society in New York. He says two other priests abused him too.

In Massachusetts, please contact our Boston sexual abuse lawyers if you or someone you love was the victim of Massachusetts clergy abuse. Even if the incident happened years ago, you still may be able to recover compensation.

This past summer, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick signed a new bill into law extending the statute of limitations for how long sex abuse victims have to sue their abusers. The law now allows child sex abuse victims as old as 53 to file civil charges against an alleged abuser. Previously, victims of Massachusetts child sex abuse could only sue until age 21.

Bill extends time limit on sexual abuse lawsuits, Boston Globe, June 20, 2014

Read the Massachusetts Sexual Abuse Lawsuit (PDF)

Watchdog group adds four names to clergy sex abuse list, Associated Press/Portland Press Herald, November 1, 2014

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Brandeis University Faces Scrutiny by Federal Investigators for Sex Abuse Cases, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, September 11, 2014

Massachusetts Clergy Sexual Abuse: Defrocked Priest Paul Shanley Challenges Conviction for Indecent Assault & Battery and Child Rape, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, September 10, 2009

Man Injured When Cement Beam Falls off Truck, Boston Car Accident Lawyer Blog, October 28, 2014