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Archdiocese settles sex abuse claim

October 14, 2016 

By Daniel Tepfer, Thursday, October 13, 2016

HARTFORD — The Archdiocese of Hartford has agreed to settle a 17-year-old sexual abuse claim against one of its priests.

Stamford lawyers Ernest Teitell and Marco Allocca, who represented the alleged victim, said the settlement was reached following mediation before Superior Court Judge Antonio Robaina.

“We settled this matter without a single deposition being taken, which saved our client the extreme emotional distress and burden that would have come with being deposed and reliving his painful experiences,” said Teitell.

“However, we are not celebrating this outcome because when you represent a victim of childhood sexual abuse, there are no true victories, but only important steps in the road to the victim’s recovery,” he continued. “By bringing this case the plaintiff wanted to show other abuse survivors that they do not have to keep their own victimizations secret.”

Archdiocese officials did not immediately return requests for comment.

While Teitell did not disclose the amount of the settlement court papers in the case show that in March he offered to settle the case for $950,000.

The lawsuit against the archdiocese claimed in 2000 and 2001 the Rev. Edward J. Tissera, also known as the Rev. Edward Warnakulasooriya, then associate pastor at Evangelist Church in Watertown, repeatedly sexually assaulted the then 13-year-old boy.

“Tissera repeatedly requested and instructed plaintiff to meet with him in plaintiff’s bedroom for spiritual guidance and counseling,” the lawsuit states.

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