Two More Sex Abuse Lawsuits Filed Against Former Miami Priest, Archdiocese

Neil Doherty named again in latest sex abuse lawsuits

By Ari Odzer and Brian Hamacher
|  Thursday, Nov 3, 2011  |  Updated 8:15 PM EDT
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A pair of sex abuse lawsuits were filed Thursday against a Miami priest who's already behind bars awaiting a criminal trial on sexual battery charges.

A pair of sex abuse lawsuits were filed Thursday against a Miami priest who's already behind bars awaiting a criminal trial on sexual battery charges.

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A pair of sex abuse lawsuits were filed Thursday against a Miami priest who's already behind bars awaiting a criminal trial on sexual battery charges.

The lawsuits, filed against the Archdiocese of Miami, claim Father Neil Doherty abused two boys between 1978 and 1990 at St. Mary's Cathedral under the pretext of counseling them.

Archdiocese Director of Communications Mary Ross Agosta released a statement Thursday, detailing their policy on abuse allegations.

"As always, the Catholic Church’s concerns are for the victims and a prevailing sense of justice and healing," Agosta said. "Over these past ten years, the Archdiocese has been forthcoming and taken steps to keep children safe through training and background screenings of all its employees, volunteers, clergy and teachers.

The lawsuits were filed on behalf of Benjamin Fisher and a second victim, identified only as John Doe No. 88. Fisher spoke about the alleged abuse at a Thursday news conference outside St. Mary's.

"What this did to me, there are no words," Fisher said. "I'm doing this for all the kids and families who suffered."

Doherty, 68, has been the subject of numerous sex abuse lawsuits and is being held in a Broward County jail for violation of pre-trial release. He faces eight charges, including sexual battery, committing a lewd act in the presence of a child, and lewd or lascivious molestation.

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