Lawsuit alleging abuse by former Meriden priest heads to settlement conference
A settlement conference on sexual abuse claims against a former St. Stanislaus Church assistant pastor is scheduled this week in U.S. District Court in New Haven.
The case is the third sexual assault on a minor claim against the Rev. Stephen Bzdyra, who served as assistant pastor at the Akron Street, Meriden church from 1979 to 1985. Bzdrya also had claims filed by men who said they were abused while he served at St. Francis Church in New Haven, and as a deacon at St. Hedwig Church in Naugatuck.
St. Stanislaus Church and School and Bzdyra were mentioned with Choate Rosemary Hall as part of the Boston Globe’s recent Spotlight investigation into sexual abuse claims made in New England’s private schools. St. Stanislaus School closed last year because of declining enrollment. Choate investigated a claim against a faculty member and deemed the allegations had no merit.
The first two lawsuits against Bzdyra were settled by the Archdiocese of Hartford. In February, one of the lawsuits filed by William Dotson in 2010, a former alter boy at St. Francis Church in New Haven, was settled for $500,000. Dotson went public after Bzdyra contacted his nine-year-old son on Facebook, the lawsuit claims.