Milwaukee Archdiocese Gets Lawsuits Thrown Out

A judge has thrown out two fraud lawsuits against the Archdiocese of Milwaukee over alleged molestations in the 1970s.

Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Michael Guolee ruled that the statute of limitations had run out on the allegations against Father Siegfried Widera.

The priest was later accused of abuse in California. He died in 2003.

The Milwaukee charges were from between 1973 and 1976. The attorney for the plaintiffs contended the clock on the limitations only began running when news reports surfaced in 2003 of Widera's 1973 felony conviction.

But archdiocese attorney John Rothstein says it's no different than any other case, when the statute of limitations starts when an incident happens.

The attorney for the plaintiffs says they'll appeal.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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