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Ex-priest facing 6th suit saying he abused boys

Published January 4, 2007



A man who says a former Roman Catholic priest sexually abused him as a teenager sued the Archdiocese of Miami for at least $25-million Wednesday, raising the number of lawsuits involving the ex-cleric to at least six.

The 21-year-old man, identified as John Doe No. 28, claims Neil Doherty sexually abused him while Doherty was pastor at St. Vincent Catholic Church in Broward County.

Doherty - charged last year with child molestation in several other cases - befriended the boy when he was 14 in 1999, according to the lawsuit, then began sexually assaulting him.

The Circuit Court lawsuit is one of at least six alleging abuse by Doherty of young boys, some dating back almost 30 years.

Doherty retired in 2002 and is not permitted any priestly garb or duties.


Girl, 7, survives being shot in face

A 7-year-old girl, shot in the face by her older brother Wednesday, was alert and talking after two bullet fragments fell out of her head on the way to a hospital, authorities said.

"The bullet is out. She's going to be okay. It's absolutely amazing. She's up talking and alert," Palm Beach County sheriff's spokeswoman Teri Barbera said.

She said the siblings, who live with their father and grandparents, were playing at home when the boy found the gun in his father's drawer. After shooting his sister, he ran outside and asked a neighbor for help, Barbera said.

Authorities and the Department of Children and Families were investigating.


Probation given for gym class bribes

A middle school teacher was sentenced to three years' probation Wednesday after pleading no contest to felony bribery charges for taking money from kids to skip gym class.

Tamara B. Tootle was the second Ernest Ward Middle School teacher accused of charging her students $1 a day to skip gym class. She must surrender her Florida Education Certification permanently and perform 300 hours of community service.

Between August 2004 and May 2005, Tootle, 39, told students they didn't have to dress for her physical education class, but would still receive full credit if they gave her $1, authorities said.

Another gym teacher, Terence Braxton, pleaded guilty to bribery in May and got the same penalties.


[Last modified January 4, 2007, 01:04:48]

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