Man Accusing Duluth Priest of Sexual Abuse Goes Public

The Diocese of Duluth conducted their own investigation into Father Graham and he was placed on administrative leave.

DULUTH, Minn. – A man accusing a Duluth priest of sexual abuse is speaking out publicly for the first time, after a jury reached a verdict in lawsuit involving the case.

The accuser says he was abused by Father William Graham three times when he was 15.

The jury ruled that the man accusing Father Graham of sexual abuse interfered with Graham’s employment.

Thursday’s verdict doesn’t decide whether the alleged sexual abuse happened to Terrence “TJ” Jerome Davis Jr.

This lawsuit was filed by the priest in response to Davis’ claims.

The jury was asked a series of questions. One answer stood out to Davis’ attorney.

“Question number 11 and that question says,” was the conduct of Terrence Jerome divas, TJ Davis, extreme and outrageous? Their answer, the jury’s answer was no,” said Davis’ Attorney, Michael Finnegan. “What that tells me is that they believe TJ they think that this is happened.”

The Diocese of Duluth conducted their own investigation into Father Graham and he was placed on administrative leave.

The Diocese of Duluth was not a part of the lawsuit filed by Father Graham but issued the following statement after the court ruling.

Here is the full statement:

“The diocese was not a party to this lawsuit, which was commenced by Father William Graham against a private citizen. The diocese’s commitment is to the safety of children. In that vein, after a thorough and deliberate process, Father Graham was determined to have been credibly accused of abusing a minor, and accordingly has been removed from ministry. Bishop Sirba stands by that decision, which has been affirmed by the Vatican. The judge in the case ruled that the diocese did not have to provide the documents of its internal investigation to the court. We continue to pray for all involved.”

In 2015 the Diocese of Duluth filed for bankruptcy after a nearly $9 million  judgment for sexual abuse victims.

Davis’ attorneys say filing for bankruptcy is not a defense.

They’re asking the Diocese of Duluth to release all documents related to Graham’s internal investigation.

“Please release Graham’s file along with the other files he’s sitting on,” said Davis.

The jury did award Graham $13,500 dollars for Davis’ interference with his employment.

Father Graham was removed from public ministry and that remains in effect.

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