A big legal win today for the Catholic Church in Madison and Milwaukee, as the Wisconsin Supreme Court rules against five men sexually abused by a Catholic school teacher.
The Kentucky men claimed they were sexually abused by Gary Kazmarek in Louisville from 1968 to 1973, and that the Wisconsin churches were negligent, in covering up the fact the Kazmarek molested dozens of kids in the 60's before moving to Louisville. Justice Louis Butler said reasonable care did not require the church to notify all subsequent employers – or the parents of, "future unforeseeable victims." Still, Butler said it was unfortunate Kazmarek was allowed to molest kids in two different locations. The five men have already been compensated by the church in Louisville, where they were among 243 plaintiffs sharing $26-million for Kazmarek's abuses. Kamarek is now serving 13 years in prison for those crimes.
The five said a statute-of-limitations did not apply in Wisconsin, because they didn't know about Kazmarek's actions until 2002. That didn't matter in the Madison case, as the justices ruled the men failed to prove negligence. The Milwaukee ruling was split 3-to-3, upholding a dismissal of that negligence case. Justice David Prosser abstained, after reports that he failed to prosecute an allegedly abusive priests in the '70's when he was the district attorney in Appleton.