A Clinton County judge will decide if several sex abuse lawsuits filed against the Davenport Catholic Diocese should be delayed. An attorney for the diocese told the judge it’s not a bluff or a threat — the diocese will file for bankruptcy if the cases aren’t postphoned. The first case is scheduled to go to court November 1st. After a court hearing yesterday, Craig Levien — an attorney for the victims who’re suing the church, said he’ll remain focused on the real message of this case. “We still have to remember what this case is about. (It’s) about the sexual abuse of 10 and 11-year-old boys by someone who they looked up to as their spiritual leader,” Levien said. Lawyers for the church say filing for bankruptcy is the best way to be fair to all the victims of abuse, since some may get nothing if the assets aren’t divided equally. Lawyers for the Davenport Diocese told the court the diocese has 10 million dollars in cash, but the attorney for those who say they were abused by a priest contends the church has more assets that could be used to pay victims. Ann Green of Dewitt is married to a victim who claims he was abused and says these legal battles have been difficult for her husband. She says all the men want is to be taken care of and acknowledged and for the diocese to take responsibility for their actions. Green says “Bankruptcy is just another way for them (the diocese) to run and hide.” Levien says the diocese policy is to deny it, hide it, fight it and bankrupt it.
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