Bridgeport Diocese Settles Sexual Abuse Claim

NBC 30
August 1, 2006

Bridgeport, Conn. -- The Bridgeport Diocese has agreed to pay a settlement to a former Bridgeport man who said he was sexually abused by a priest while a high school student in the late 1970s.

Terms of the settlement, which were negotiated with U.S. Magistrate William Garfinkel, were not disclosed.

Lawrence Freeman is now 43 years old and lives in Washington state. He said he was abused on numerous occasions by the Rev. James Gildea, who was a guidance counselor and teacher at Notre Dame High School in Fairfield from 1976 to 1979.

Gildea died in 1986.

James Stapleton, the lawyer who represents the diocese, said the diocese does not admit liability.

Cindy Robinson, Freeman's lawyer, said her client urged the diocese to notify other former Notre Dame students who may have been abused by Gildea.

Stapleton said he does not know if the diocese will agree to do so.


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