Las Vegas Sun

October 17, 2019

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Court throws out $500,000 judgment over alleged touching by priest

CARSON CITY — The Nevada Supreme Court today overturned a $500,000 judgment against the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay in Wisconsin in a case in which a priest in Las Vegas was accused of inappropriately touching a teen.

The court ruled that the District Court in Nevada does not have jurisdiction over the diocese.

The priest involved was originally from the diocese in Wisconsin and moved to Los Angeles and then to Las Vegas.

The incident allegedly occurred in 1985 when the priest was accused of running his hand up the teen’s leg and touching his genitals, according to court documents. The teen was a student at a Catholic school in Las Vegas.

The boy, who was in his early teens, said the incident led to psychological injuries in his later life.

A lawsuit was filed in 2008 and the jury award was made in 2012.

The Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision written by Justice Michael Cherry, said the priest “was not the Diocese’s agent during his ministry in Las Vegas.”

Cherry wrote that the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay did not have sufficient contacts with Nevada to show it was under the jurisdiction of the state.

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