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Casper Deacon Denies Lawsuit Allegations

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — A Casper church deacon accused of imposing a sexual relationship on a woman he was counseling is denying the allegations.

A woman filed suit against St. Anthony’s Catholic Church, Deacon Don Stewart and four clergy members in January. It alleges the sexual relationship started after she went to Stewart for counseling in 2002 and that Stewart physically assaulted her twice in 2008.

Two priests and two former bishops are also named as defendants because the woman said they knew or should have known about the situation. They also denied the allegations in court filings.

The Associated Press reported Tuesday that the Diocese of Cheyenne wants the case dismissed to avoid having the court wade into the church’s personnel policies. It claims that would violate the First Amendment.

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