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Retired Phoenix Bishop O’Brien accused of sexual abuse

August 04, 2017

Bishop Thomas O’Brien, the retired head of the Phoenix, Arizona diocese, has been accused of sexual abuse. The bishop denies the charge.

Bishop O’Brien resigned in 2003 after he killed a pedestrian in a hit-and-run incident. Earlier that year he had entered into an agreement with local prosecutors, admitting that he had failed to take action against diocesan employees who had molested children. As part of the agreement, prosecutors agreed not to press charges against the diocese. A grand jury investigating the case found no evidence that the bishop himself had been involved in sexual abuse.

However, a middle-aged man has now filed a lawsuit against the retired prelate, saying that Bishop O’Brien molested him repeatedly between 1977 and 1982. The accuser claims that he recovered memory of the incidents only recently. The Phoenix diocese announced in a statement that then-Father O’Brien had not been assigned to the parishes where the abuse is alleged to have taken place.

 
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