Ex-Altar Boy Launches Suit

October 7, 2009

By: Michael Tutton, The Canadian Press, The Chronicle Herald

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A former altar boy who claims a Nova Scotia priest sexually abused him is launching a civil lawsuit against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Antigonish and the Archdiocese of Halifax.

The alleged victim will identify himself at a news conference at the Delta Halifax Hotel on Thursday, said Aaron Lealess of the London, Ont., law firm LeDroit Beckett, which is representing the complainant.

"The victim will put his name on the record," Mr. Lealess said in an interview Tuesday.

The lawsuit is a rejection of the class-action settlement negotiated recently on behalf of sexual abuse victims, in part, by Bishop Raymond Lahey of the Antigonish diocese. Bishop Lahey has been charged with possessing child pornography.

The complainant said the settlement didn’t provide details of the church’s awareness of and reaction to the sexual abuse of minors by clergymen.

LeDroit Beckett is involved in a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against the Catholic dioceses of Halifax and Yarmouth on behalf of several men, including brothers Del and Kenneth Boudreau.

The brothers claim they were abused by Rev. Adolphe LeBlanc, a Wedgeport priest who died in the 1970s.

Mr. Lealess said recently that the case against the Yarmouth and Halifax dioceses may be resolved more quickly in light of the charges against Bishop Lahey.

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