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Couple refiles lawsuit alleging sexual assault



Published: Sun, April 20, 2003 @ 12:00 a.m.



YOUNGSTOWN -- A Girard couple is suing the Catholic Diocese of Youngstown, one of its private schools and a Campbell man over a 15-year-old allegation of sexual abuse.

Margaret and Ronald Petko filed the complaint this week in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court. It's the second time the suit has been filed.

They originally sued in August 2000, then voluntarily dismissed that complaint in April 2002. Under Ohio law, they had one year from the time of dismissal to refile it.

The lawsuit says that the Petkos' son was in the restroom at St. Joseph the Provider School in Campbell, where he was a student, and Carl Michael Rich of Campbell came into the restroom and sexually assaulted him.

The lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages, says Rich did not work at the school, but was there as a visitor with unsupervised access to the school premises. It says the assault happened in 1988 or 1989.

The family's attorney, Scott R. Cochran, said the matter is being investigated. Diocese officials could not be reached to comment.




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