Saturday, March 26, 2011

Man sues archdiocese
Missouri man sues archdiocese, saying priest assaulted him in 1966
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BY VALERIE SCHREMP HAHN • > 314-621-5804 | Posted: Friday, March 25, 2011 3:54 pm | (21) Comments

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An outstate Missouri man has sued the Archdiocese of St. Louis, claiming he was molested by a priest decades ago.

Girard Wipke, of Auxvasse, Mo., sued the church in St. Louis Circuit Court earlier this week. He claims the Rev. Thomas Graham sexually assaulted him twice in 1966 when Wipke was in seventh grade.

The suit claims the church knew Graham had assaulted others before and after the alleged assaults on Wipke but the church did nothing about it.

In 2006, the Missouri Supreme Court overturned a sodomy conviction of Graham in another case, for which Graham had maintained his innocence. He had been convicted for allegedly engaging in oral sex with a teenager at the Old Cathedral downtown in the 1970s.

Monsignor Richard Hanneke, Vicar for Priests, said in a statement Friday that the archdiocese does not comment on pending litigation, and that Graham is an archdiocesan priest no longer working in public ministry.

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