12th lawsuit alleges priest abused boy 50-plus times

Associated Press/July 31, 2006
By Ken Kusmer

Indianapolis -- The 12th Indiana lawsuit to accuse former Catholic priest Harry Monroe of preying sexually on boys alleges he abused the same teenage victim more than 50 times until the Archdiocese of Indianapolis transferred him.

The complaint filed Monday in Marion Superior Court in Indianapolis alleged the abuse began in 1975 when the boy was 13 and Monroe was a new priest posted to St. Monica's Catholic Church on Indianapolis' northwest side. The abuse allegedly continued over four years while Monroe took subsequent postings at two other parishes in other parts of the city.

The abuse occurred in rectories at all three parishes, at a house on Lake Tippecanoe in Kosciusko County, about 35 miles southeast of South Bend, and in getaways to Brown County, said the man's attorney, Patrick Noaker of St. Paul, Minn.

It ended when the archdiocese transferred Monroe to a parish in Terre Haualte, about an hour west of Indianapolis, Noaker said.

Monroe plied the boy with alcohol and marijuana during some of their meetings, and the victim, now 43 and married and living in another state, has wrestled with chemical dependency and depression in adulthood, Noaker said.

"He's had some alcohol problems, very severe alcohol problems, in fact. He's had some problems handling stress," Noaker said.

The plaintiff is identified as John Doe in the complaint.

Monroe's attorney, Brian Ciyou of Indianapolis, declined to comment on the latest case against his client, who now lives in the Nashville, Tenn., area.

The archdiocese does not comment on pending child abuse lawsuits in which it is a defendant, but urges victims of sexual misconduct by Monroe to contact the archdiocesan chancellor, Suzanne L. Yakimchick.

The previous 11 complaints allege Monroe sexually abused juvenile male parishioners in Indianapolis, Terre Haute and in Perry County, along the Ohio River about 40 miles east of Evansville, before the archdiocese stripped him of his ministry in 1984.

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