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Martinelli v. Diocese of Bridgeport


Type of Case: Legal

Location (State or Country): Connecticut

Civil or Criminal: civil

Form of Corroboration: advisory organization


Martinelli v. Diocese of Bridgeport was a 1997 civil suit from Connecticut in which Frank Martinelli sought redress for sexual abuse committed by Father Laurence Brett at St. Cecilia Church in Stamford between 1962 and 1964. “Martinelli, who is married and has a young son, testified during the eight-day trial that he repressed his memory of the abuse until 1991, when it all came back to him like a ‘wave’ while he was on the telephone with a friend who told him he had also been abused by Brett as a child" (Tepfer). “Probably the most damaging evidence of the trial was a memo of a meeting that took place among diocese officials on Dec. 2, 1964, regarding an assault by Brett on a 19-year-old male Sacred Heart University student. The memo states the teen had gone to Brett to discuss a sexual problem and Brett ended up performing oral sex on him. The memo goes on to state that Brett was being sent away for treatment, and “‘A recurrence of hepatitis was to be feigned should anyone ask,’ it read" (Tepfer).

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