Tuesday, December 31, 2002

Man sues Albany diocese, and one of its therapists, in particular, for malpractice

A Capital Region man who said he was sexually abused by several priests filed a lawsuit against the Albany Diocese on Monday, accusing his church therapist of pressuring him to not hire a lawyer and making his psychological problems worse.The lawsuit was filed by an unemployed man in his 30s who said he was repeatedly abused between the ages of 10 and 13 in the Albany Diocese, said attorney John Aretakis, who filed the suit. The victim is referred to in court papers as John Doe.Between March and November, the man met with a nun and trained therapist, Sister Anne Bryan Smollin, nearly 100 times, but she made almost no notes or records of his treatment, according to the lawsuit.Smollin asked the man to sign a waiver permitting her to discuss all aspects of his case with Bishop Howard Hubbard, according to the lawsuit. Smollin also urged him on several occasions not to hire a lawyer and said, "Bishop Howard Hubbard can no longer be your friend" after he did so, the lawsuit said.

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