2 lawsuits allege sexual abuse by a clergy member, nun in Maine

Both of the accused already died with the minister's death in 1997 and the nun in 1973

Associated Press/December 22, 2022

Two more people have filed lawsuits alleging sexual abuse by a Roman Catholic clergy member and a nun — both deceased — raising the number to over a dozen since Maine loosened the statute of limitations last year.

One of the plaintiffs contended he was sexually abused by a priest and was spanked by a nun who interrupted one of the encounters in Bangor, while another said that a nun regularly spanked boys' bare bottoms in class, and that she sexually abused him in private, according to the lawsuits.

The minister died in 1997 at age 96, while the nun died in 1973 at age 86.

The lawsuits, announced Wednesday, bring to about 14 the number of lawsuits alleging the Diocese of Portland knew about abuse and failed to stop it or warn parishioners. A spokesperson said the diocese doesn't comment on pending litigation.

Maine removed its statute of limitations for childhood sexual abuse cases in 2000, but that still prevented victims from suing for older crimes. Changes to state law last summer made it possible for Mainers to seek legal action for claims that were previously expired.

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