Alleged abuse victim seeks $1 million from Bishop Cote

The release of a list of priests substantively accused of the sexual assault of minors prompted John Waddington of Groton to call on Bishop Michael Cote Monday to deposit a $1 million check in his bank account because Waddington alleges he was raped by the late Rev. Charles Many at Sacred Heart Church in Groton in 1978 when he was a 14-year-old altar boy.

In his email to Cote, Waddington pointed out the Norwich Diocese has admitted to the sexual abuse scandal and that Many is on the list released Sunday.

“After 25 years of suffering from this I would appreciate a check deposited in the Charter Oak Federal Credit Union for a million dollars, with the interest added from 2001,” he wrote.

Waddington sued and in 2001 was awarded $850,000 by a jury, but a judge overturned the verdict and ordered a new trial because she said she should not have allowed testimony by Many that he was involved in a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old boy seven years after Waddington said Many had sexually assaulted him. Waddington did not seek a second trial as the Society of St. Edmund, which Many belonged to, had been removed from the suit and Waddington would not be able to collect much money from Many, who had denied the allegations.

The list released by the Diocese of Norwich states Many was “reassigned by religious order in 1981 before allegation received.”

The Day has reported Many left the priesthood in 1994 after allegations against him in Groton and Vermont became public.

Last year, the diocese, former Bishop Daniel Reilly, Sacred Heart Church and the Society of St. Edmund paid Andrew Aspinwall of New London $900,000 after he said Many had sexually assaulted him when he was an altar boy in the 1970s and '80s.

Aspinwall’s attorney, Kelly Reardon of New London, had said she had identified a number of other individuals who were molested by Many, and who were prepared to tell the jury about their experiences and the fact that they had told other priests in the parish what occurred “on many occasions.” Reardon said she had obtained documents from the Edmundite archives demonstrating that officials from the church had knowledge that Many was “receiving boys in his room” as early as 1976, two years before he was transferred to the parish in Groton.

j.wojtas@theday.com

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