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Massachusetts priest named in sex abuse lawsuit in Texas
By Associated Press
Tuesday, February 22, 2005

 

WORCESTER, Mass. - A Roman Catholic priest living in Massachusetts has been accused of sexual abuse by two Texas men who also allege the dioceses in Worcester and Fort Worth, Texas, conspired to help the priest avoid arrest.

 

      Two men, identified only as John Doe I and John Doe II in the lawsuit filed in Tarrant County District Court in Forth Worth, allege the Rev. Thomas Teczar sexually abused them while he was pastor of St. Rita's Church in Ranger, a small town in northern Texas.  

 

      Teczar, who now lives in Dudley and who served as a priest in the Worcester diocese until he was removed from his duties in 1986, denied the allegations, and said he does not know the man identified as John Doe II.

 

      ``I never met him. I never even talked to him. I never touched him,'' Teczar said in a telephone interview Monday with the Telegram & Gazette of Worcester. He also told the newspaper that he knows the man identified in the suit as John Doe I ``only from the gas station'' in Ranger, where the abuse is alleged to have occurred.

 

      Teczar, who said he is representing himself in court, said the two men have submitted no evidence supporting their claims. The Worcester diocese already has reportedly settled other lawsuits by Massachusetts men alleging Teczar abused them.

 

      Teczar remains a priest, but in 1986 he was barred by the Worcester diocese from performing priestly functions, according to James Gavin Reardon Jr., a lawyer for the diocese. The Fort Worth diocese was notified when he moved there in 1988, Reardon said. Teczar returned to Massachusetts in 1993 when other sexual abuse allegations surfaced in Texas.

 

      The dioceses of Worcester and Forth Worth have asked a judge to dismiss the lawsuit on the grounds it was filed after the statute of limitations had expired. A hearing on the motion was scheduled for Thursday in Fort Worth.

 

      The lawsuit also names Bishop Joseph P. Delaney of Fort Worth and Auxiliary Bishop George E. Rueger of Worcester. Rueger, who is due to retire in September, has denied he intervened to help get Teczar moved to the Fort Worth diocese, the newspaper said.