- Associated Press - Friday, May 1, 2015

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Two men are suing a priest, the Louisville archdiocese and a Dominican nun, claiming they were sexually abused by the priest in the 1970s and the church failed to protect them.

The Rev. James Schook was convicted last year of molesting one of the two. He is serving a 15-year prison sentence at the Kentucky State Reformatory.

The 67-year-old priest was tried for abusing both boys, but convicted in connection to only one. Schook’s attorney, David Lambertus, argued that the second man was of legal age when the sexual relationship began.

The lawsuit names Schook, the Archdiocese of Louisville and Dominican Sister Eleanor F. Tierney as defendants. The details of the allegations have not yet been made public. It was filed Thursday under seal. A Kentucky statute requires lawsuits involving claims of sexual abuse more than five years old to be sealed until a judge orders it opened.

Court officials would confirm only that the lawsuit was filed and the names of the parties.

Todd Lewis, the attorney who filed the suit on behalf of the two men, declined to comment or detail the allegations, citing the judge’s order sealing the petition.

Several members of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, who are familiar with the allegations in the suit but asked that they not be named because the case remains under seal, said the lawsuit details Schook’s abuse of the two men, the church’s failure to protect them as children and its lacking response when the men came forward as adults.

Cecelia Price, spokeswoman for the Archdiocese of Louisville, said they have not seen the lawsuit and do not comment on pending litigation.

The Louisville Archdiocese has paid at least $29 million in settlements and other fees since the scandal erupted here in 2002.

Schook’s criminal trial was delayed for years as his attorney claimed the priest, diagnosed with end-stage melanoma, was on his deathbed. He was convicted last April on three counts sodomy and indecent or immoral practice and sentenced to serve 15 years. He has since asked the judge to let him out to serve his time on probation rather than a prison cell.

The judge has refused. Schook remains at the Kentucky State Reformatory, which has a hospice unit to care for the terminally ill. He will be eligible for parole next April, according to the Kentucky Department of Corrections.

He was permanently removed from ministry in 2010 when the archdiocese determined the abuse allegations were credible. He retained the status of priest, as is common for disgraced clergymen who are old or infirm. Schook has been directed “to lead a life of prayer and penance,” according to the archdiocese.

Tierney remains a Dominican nun.

Sister Anne Lythgoe, spokeswoman for the Dominican Sisters of Peace, said they were not aware of the allegations against Tierney and declined to comment.

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