Sex abuse suit adds 2 plaintiffs

Three men accuse former Anchorage priest of molestation

Posted: Thursday, December 01, 2005

ANCHORAGE - Two more men have claimed they were sexually abused by a former Anchorage Catholic priest.

An updated lawsuit filed Monday in Anchorage Superior Court lists three plaintiffs who accuse Frank Murphy of sexual abuse.

The lawsuit also names the Anchorage Archdiocese, the Boston Archdiocese and the Missionary Society of St. James the Apostle as defendants.

The lawsuit filed by Anchorage attorney Ken Roosa refers to the three plaintiffs as Joseph Does 1-3.

Two men with newly filed claims both served as altar boys, one in the 1960s and one in the 1970s, for then-Monsignor Francis Murphy, Roosa said. Murphy gained the trust of their parents, invited the boys to parties, gave them alcohol and let them drive parish cars, according to the lawsuit.

In February 1964, Murphy rubbed a lubricant over the nude body of one of the boys, then 15, the lawsuit said. The lawsuit asserted that in summer 1981, Murphy fondled the other boy at least three times, when the youth was 15.

The lawsuit also includes the original allegation that Murphy sexually abused a third boy numerous times.

Murphy had a reputation as a popular and charismatic priest in Anchorage from the 1960s to 1985. He was ordered by his superiors to an alcoholic rehabilitation center for priests in the Lower 48 as police were investigating him for sexual misconduct, according to the Anchorage Daily News.

The Anchorage Archdiocese has not seen a copy of the revised suit, said Sister Charlotte Davenport.

"Once it's filed, you have to defend, you don't have any choice," she said.

Murphy is no longer allowed to operate as a priest but has not been officially removed from the priesthood, she said.

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