The Boston Globe | Abuse in the Catholic Church


McSorley says he didn't try suicide

By Douglas Belkin, Globe Staff, 7/1/2003

Alleged clergy abuse victim Patrick McSorley, who was found floating in the Neponset River two weeks ago, said yesterday that he had no memory of how he ended up in the water but rebutted speculation that he had tried to kill himself.

''I did not try to take my own life,'' McSorley said at a news conference yesterday. Addressing victims of pedophile priests, McSorley said, ''I want them to be real strong and make it through this. . . . Suicide is not the way out.''

A friend found McSorley, 28, of Hyde Park, floating face down in the water off Pope John Paul II Park in Dorchester on June 18. He was rushed to Boston Medical Center, where he was placed on life support.

That night his attorney, Mitchell Garabedian, said McSorley had a ''50-50 chance'' of survival.

But after spending six days unconscious, McSorley said, he felt fine except for not remembering how he ended up in the water. ''What I think may have happened was I put my foot too deep inside the marsh, and I whacked my head,'' McSorley said. He said he has had fainting spells in the past. He has not ruled out the possibility that he was attacked.

McSorley, who alleges he was abused at age 12 by now-defrocked priest John J. Geoghan and shared in a $10 million settlement between the Archdiocese of Boston and victims of Geoghan last September, said he was driving through Dorchester with his friend when they decided to walk at the park. He and his friend got separated, and McSorley ended up in the water.

This story ran on page B3 of the Boston Globe on 7/1/2003.
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