The defamation suit trickPosted: May 18, 2021
A court ruled against an ex-priest who filed a defamation action against the Roman Catholic Diocese, finding that a diocese spokeswoman was expressing an opinion rather than defaming him by stating in an NPR interview that she visited the home of an alleged sexual assault victim and told him she believed his claims of misconduct by this priest against him.
Three police agencies declined to prosecute the priest, citing the expiration of the statute of limitations and evidentiary problems. The statute of limitations in sex crime cases, especially sex crimes committed against children, needs to be abolished in every state in the country. The defamation threat/lawsuit needs to be recognized as part of the trick bag of many predatory individuals and people who have the money/power to seek revenge against anyone who legitimately threatens their carefully crafted persona or exposes their evil underbelly.
The failure of the defamation claim on the grounds of an expression of opinion was the most logical in this case. There is also the little matter of truth. If the statement at issue is substantially true, a defamation claim cannot succeed because you have a right to publish truthful information even if it injures another’s reputation. Defaming a priest by saying you believe an “alleged” victim’s accusations? Please. For once I’m glad a diocese prevailed.