Saturday, May 31, 2003

Fla. man files suit for abuse by Ky. priest

The Associated Press

LOUISVILLE - A Florida man filed a lawsuit Friday against the Roman Catholic Church, claiming he was sexually abused by a priest.

Andre Azerot, now a Florida resident, claims he was abused by the Rev. Joseph Herp, who has been named in several of the more than 250 suits pending against the Archdiocese of Louisville.

Azerot alleges Herp abused him while he was a parishioner at St. Ann Church in Louisville, according to the lawsuit filed in Jefferson Circuit Court. Azerot - who was a minor at the time of the alleged abuse - claims church officials were aware of the abuse but did nothing to stop it.

Herp left the priesthood last year after allegations of abuse within the Louisville archdiocese were made public.

More than two dozen priests, former priests and teachers have been accused.

Two priests, the Revs. Daniel C. Clark and James Hargadon; a former priest, Bruce Ewing; and two teachers are awaiting trial within the next year in Jefferson, Oldham, Bullitt and Grayson counties.

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