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Posted: Thursday, October 4th, 2012 9:11 AM HST

Man sues church, alleging abuse by priest in 1970s

By Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) A 49-year-old Colorado man is suing the Catholic diocese serving western North Dakota, alleging one of its priests sexually abused him when he was a child in Hawaii decades ago.

A lawsuit filed in state court in Honolulu alleges Rev. Maurice McNeely sexually abused the plaintiff at an Army base around 1974 to 1975.

The plaintiff was an 11-to-12 year-old altar boy at a Fort Shafter chapel where the priest ministered to soldiers and their families.

The lawsuit accuses the Diocese of Bismarck of negligence. The diocese didn't respond to a request for comment Wednesday.

McNeely's attorney says his client denies the allegations. McNeely now lives in Michigan.

A new Hawaii law provides a two-year window for sexual abuse claims involving minors even if the statute of limitations has expired.

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