2 lawsuits alleging sexual abuse filed against Diocese of Charlotte

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Two people who say priests sexually abused them when they were children are now suing the Charlotte Catholic Diocese.

The civil lawsuits filed in Mecklenburg County claim the Catholic church concealed misconduct and sheltered abusers.

The cases were filed against Fathers Richard Farwell and Joseph Kelleher.

The plaintiffs’ attorney said their accusations are on the list of credible allegations that were released late last year, but their cases were previously dismissed based upon the statue of limitations.

Last year, lawmakers opened a two-year window to file cases.

The Diocese of Charlotte sent Channel 9 the following statement:

The Diocese of Charlotte is aware of two lawsuits, pertaining to allegations that date back to the 1970s and 1980s, filed Monday by individuals whose claims against the diocese were previously dismissed by the North Carolina courts. We disagree that the diocese is liable to the plaintiffs and will respond to the litigation in court at the appropriate time. The diocese takes allegations of child sexual abuse very seriously and remains committed to providing a safe environment for all people, especially the young and vulnerable.

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