Sex abuse lawsuit against priest moves forward

Tuesday, October 12th 2004, 5:11 am
By: News On 6

Potential jurors will be questioned Tuesday morning in a Tulsa man's sex abuse lawsuit against a Claremore priest. Arguments could begin Tuesday afternoon.

36-year-old Kelly Kirk claims the Reverend Paul Eichhoff molested him in the late 1970's. The alleged abuse took place at Tulsa's Saint Mary's Catholic Church.

The priest is countersuing for slander. A Catholic Diocese determined last year Kirk's allegations were groundless.

A spokeswoman for the Kirk family says it was a hard decision to press the issue.

"It took a tremendous amount of courage, because they had no idea they would be thrust into a lawsuit. It's terribly difficult...the source of the pain," said Janet Patterson/Alleged Victim’s Spokeperson.

The Tulsa District Attorney declined to file charges because of the statute of limitations.