A jury was selected in U.S. District Court in Burlington on Tuesday to hear the first of a dozen new priest misconduct lawsuits against Vermont’s Catholic Church.
Lawyers are scheduled to offer opening statements at 10 a.m. today in a case in which a former Rutlander who now lives in California says he was 13 years old when the former Rev. Edward Paquette — the subject of 25 previous lawsuits and three past jury verdicts — sexually abused him in 1974.
Judge William Sessions III will preside over a jury of nine men and three women in a trial scheduled for the next week and a half. It comes three years after the state’s largest religious denomination paid more than $20 million to settle almost 30 other priest misconduct lawsuits.
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