Man alleges abuse at hands of same priest who acknowledged fondling former Rep. Foley as teen

Wednesday, October 25th 2006, 8:58 am
By: News On 6

MIAMI (AP) _ Another former altar boy says he was sexually abused in the 1970s by the same retired Catholic priest who acknowledged fondling former Rep. Mark Foley when Foley was a teenager, the man's attorney said Wednesday.

The new allegations against the Rev. Anthony Mercieca were made by a man who lived in North Miami and was an altar boy at St. James Catholic Church, attorney Jeffrey Herman said.

Herman said he planned to file a lawsuit Wednesday morning against the Archdiocese of Miami, accusing Mercieca of abusing the man, now 40, when he was about 12 years old.

The man is identified in the lawsuit only as John Doe No. 26.

``He had been thinking about it before Foley came forward, and then when Foley came out and the church encouraged other victims to come forward, he decided to come forward,'' Herman said.

On Friday, the Archdiocese of Miami barred Mercieca from all church work as it investigates Foley's claim that the clergyman molested him as a teenager when Foley was an altar boy at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Lake Worth in 1967.