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Lawsuit Claims Sexual Abuse In Fort Worth Catholic Diocese

FORT WORTH — A man is seeking over $1 million in damages in a lawsuit against the Fort Worth Roman Catholic Diocese, alleging he was sexually assaulted by a now deceased priest in the 1990s.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports the man, who now lives near Spokane, Washington, said priest John Sutton was his seventh-grade history teacher at Notre Dame Middle-High School in Wichita Falls.

The lawsuit accuses Sutton of threatening the plaintiff if he told anyone about the abuse. Sutton died in 2004. The suit accuses the diocese and Fort Worth Bishop Michael Olson of “stringing the victim along” to silence him until the statute of limitations ran out. The lawsuit was filed in Tarrant County.

A diocese spokeswoman says an investigation is ongoing into the man’s abuse claims. An email seeking comment from Olson was sent early Friday. 

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