CREATED Jun. 15, 2012
Green Bay, WI - The Catholic Church is requesting a new trial in a clergy sex abuse case because of possible problems with a juror. The church lost a lawsuit to Todd and Troy Merryfield last month. They were abused by Father John Feeney in 1978.
Todd Merryfield said they want to put this behind them, but now, there's a chance they may have to go back to trial, after the church claims a juror might have been biased.
The Outagamie County priest was convicted in 2004 of abusing the boys.
“We want them to recognize what they did and take action to prevent it from happening again,” said Todd Merryfield.
Todd added this case isn't about the money; it's about finding the truth.
The church denies any fraud allegations and now wants a new civil trial.
In a statement, the Diocese of Green Bay explains, "Following the jury verdict... Judge Nancy Krueger contacted both plaintiff and defense attorneys with information she had received that one of the jurors might have had a significant bias that was not reported during either the jury selection process or during the trail itself… The purpose of the motion... Was to provide a legal basis for Judge Krueger to make a determination of the fitness of the juror."
Todd reflects on the process that's spanned over years.
“It was so painful for me, my brother my family it really tore us apart,” said Todd. “I was the big brother. I didn't protect my little brother and that is so hard.”
The Merryfield’s were awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages. The judge has scheduled a hearing to decide if a new trial will take place that hearing is scheduled for June 26.