Suit: Pa. Catholic leaders failed to protect kids

Pictured (top row from left): Edward Avery, Charles Engelhardt, and James Brennan. (Bottom row from left) Teacher Bernard Shero and Monsignor William Lynn.

February 16, 2011 10:35:47 AM PST
A former Catholic school student has sued the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, saying clergy covered up sexual assault allegations against two priests who molested him in the 1990s.

According to the lawsuit filed Monday in Philadelphia's Court of Common Pleas, the plaintiff, now 28-years-old, was assaulted by Seminarian Martin Satchell while a was second and third grader at St. Aloysius Academy in Bryn Mawr and by Father Richard Cochrane at Malvern Prep.

The lawsuit says Satchell was later ordained as a priest, but has since been defrocked and Cochrane was convicted of sexually assaulting another student.

The suit names Cardinal Justin Rigali and his predecessor, Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua.

"And we're charging conspiracy and fraudulent concealment on the part of the hierarchy," Marci Hamilton, the victim's attorney, said.

The suit follows criminal charges filed last week against three priests and a high-ranking archdiocese official accused of failing to protect children from predator priests.

The church had no comment on today's lawsuit.