Woman sues diocese, claims ‘smear’ effort on abuse claims

ALLENTOWN, Pa. – A woman described as a victim in Pennsylvania, the grand jury report on clergy sexual abuse suing the Roman Catholic Diocese of Allentown about what they call a “smear” campaign.

The lawsuit, filed Wednesday on behalf of Juliann Bortz, claiming the church officials sought negative information about her to discredit her allegations of abuse by the Rev. Francis Fromholzer when she was a teenager in the 1960s.

Her lawyer says 69-year-old Bortz was not aware of this until they read the grand jury report last month.

The suit claims that the intentional infliction of emotional distress and defamation. Her lawyer tells the Morning Call looking for an excuse, and the details on who tried to discredit her.

The Allentown Diocese denied attempting to discredit Bortz. The diocese says it never acted on the information and deleted the priest.

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