Jury finds for plaintiff but says his claim was too late

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A jury that heard the case of a former Derby man who blamed the Diocese of Burlington for a priest who allegedly molested him 30 years ago says he should have filed his claim sooner.

The jury in Chittenden County Superior Court delivered a mixed verdict yesterday in the case of 47-year-old James Turner, saying the Diocese failed to adequately supervise since-defrocked priest Alfred Willis and awarding Turner $15,000 dollars in damages.

But it said he filed suit six years too late.

Turner sued the Diocese in 2004 over a 1977 incident in which Willis allegedly performed a sex act on him as he slept in a Latham, New York motel room with six other other people.

His lawyer lashed out at the church after the jury reached its verdict last night, saying that church lawyers were mean-spirited in the way they defended the case.

Still unclear is whether the Diocese will end up paying the $15,000.

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