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Brothers Claiming Abuse by Priest Lose Appeal

Brothers Claiming Abuse by Priest Lose Appeal



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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Two brothers who claim they were sexually abused by a Roman Catholic priest waited too long to sue the Diocese of Salt Lake City, the Utah Supreme Court said Tuesday in affirming other decisions against the men.

The four-year clock began ticking decades ago when the brothers turned 18, the court said in a 5-0 ruling.

While acknowledging the "troubling nature of child sexual abuse," the justices said the case triggered none of the exceptions that can be used to overcome time limits in civil lawsuits.

Ralph Colosimo, 53, and Charles Colosimo, 45, said they were sexually abused by a teacher, the Rev. James Rapp, between 1970 and 1975 when they were students at Judge Memorial High School in Salt Lake City.

In a separate case in Oklahoma, Rapp pleaded no contest in 1999 to lewd molestation of a boy and was sentenced to 40 years in prison.

The Colosimo brothers filed an $80 million lawsuit against Rapp and others in 2003, contending church and school officials knew about his behavior but were more concerned with protecting institutions than children.

They stayed silent until The Washington Post published a story about Rapp in 2002.

Ralph Colosimo said he had repressed his memory until a therapist helped him. Charles Colosimo said he never forgot but was unaware of a connection between the incidents and injuries until therapy years later.

A 3rd District Court judge entered a default judgment against Rapp but dismissed claims against the diocese, the school, the priest's religious order and others, citing the statute of limitations. The Utah Court of Appeals agreed.

------ On the Net: Utah Supreme Court, http://www.utcourts.gov

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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