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Lawsuit Against Bishop Edward J. Burns

A civil lawsuit was filed Thursday, January 30, 2020 in Dallas County Court at Law #3, Cause No. CC- 20-00553-C against The Roman Catholic Diocese of Dallas and its Bishop, Edward J. Bums and former priest Richard Thomas Brown.

The lawsuit alleges that when Brown was assigned as an as assistant pastor at Holy Family of Nazareth Church in Irving, he sexually molested and sexually assaulted the Plaintiff, who was at the time an eight year old child. The victim is identified in the lawsuit only by her pseudonym, Jane Doe. Due her psychological injuries as a result of the childhood sexual abuse, the lawsuit is brought on her behalf as a vulnerable adult of “unsound mind” by her Aunt, who is identified by the initials D.F.B ..

Brown was arrested in Missouri yesterday on charges of aggravated sexual abuse of a child arising from his molestation of another young girl in July of 1989 when the priest was assigned as assistant pastor at St. Mark the Evangelist Church in Plano, Texas. When questioned by Dallas police in 2019, Brown confirmed that he had told parents of another victim that when he was in Texas he abused 50 children. He is being held without bond and will be extradited to Texas to face charges.

The lawsuit alleges negligence and gross negligence against the Dallas Diocese and its Bishops and details multiple reports from other victims and their families to the Diocese from the mid- l 980’s and again from 1993 and 1994. Rather than notifying law enforcement at the time, the Diocese sent Brown out of Texas to a Church-run treatment Center in Connecticut. Doctors there told the Diocese he was attracted to underage girls and had sexually acted out with them when he was assigned to parishes in North Texas. But because the Diocese did not notify law enforcement then no criminal charges have been brought against him until this week.

Dallas Attorney Tahira Khan Merritt, who represents Jane Doe, said: “Without the hard work and tenacity of Detectives David Clark and Michael Fontenot of the Dallas Police Department’s Sex Crimes Unit, Brown’s arrest would never have occurred. For victims who were denied justice for so many decades his arrest is crucial bringing closure to them and accountability to the Diocese.”

Ms. Merritt added “My client’s childhood and adulthood were devastated by the sexual abuse she suffered at Father Brown’s hands when she was a little girl. Due to the extended horrific trauma she endured, she has been unable to develop and mature into a functioning adult who can provide even basic needs for herself. She will need psychiatric care for the rest of her life.”

If anyone has relevant information about Brown or the Dallas Diocese, we urge you to immediately contact Detective David Clark with the Dallas Police Department at 214-671-4301. For further information about this case, please contact Attorney Merritt at 214-537-3789 or
tahira tkmlawfirm.com

Plaintiffs Original Petition FILE MARKED

Diocese of Dallas and Brown Press Release

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Location

Tahira Khan Merritt P.L.L.C

8499 Greenville Ave, Suite #206,
Dallas, TX. 75231
Phone: (214) 503-7300

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