Rev. Charles F. Bodziak

The Rev. Charles F. Bodziak, 74, is shown in this undated file photo. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown announced on Sunday, Jan. 24, 2016, that the priest was suspended from his duties at St. Michael Roman Catholic Church in St. Michael due to an allegation he sexually abused children several decades ago. 

A lawsuit against a former Cambria County Catholic priest was tossed by a Blair County Judge on Friday because it didn’t fall within the state’s statute of limitations guidelines.

In her ruling, Blair County Judge Jolene G. Kopriva called the two sisters’ claims “untimely” because they were filed more than three decades after incidents against them occurred.

“At times we reach that point in law, owing either to binding precedent or statutory authority, where a wrong may regrettably have no redress,” the judge wrote, according to a story published in Sunday’s Altoona Mirror. 

“The appellate courts or legislature retain the power to alter that situation if they so choose. …”

Two women accused the Rev. Charles Bodziak – who served at St. Michael Roman Catholic Parish in Adams Township until 2016 – of fondling, kissing them and luring them with alcohol in the 1970s when they were 7 and 9 years old.

Bodziak was suspended five months prior to that lawsuit, in January 2016, based on allegations he molested children.

In the initial lawsuit, one of the girls said the abuse started at a party for her first holy communion, and maintained Bodziak told her it was OK because he was a priest.

The Altoona-Johnstown Catholic Diocese and Bodziak cited the statute of limitations guideline in their request for a judgement earlier this year, the Mirror reported.

The sisters’ attorney, Richard Serbin, framed the case as a cover-up – something he argued was outside the statute’s scope. But Kopriva disagreed, and said two Pennsylvania Superior Court decisions, both in 2015, based on similar allegations and arguments, reinforced her ruling last week.

David Hurst is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. He can be reached at (814) 532-5053. Follow him on Twitter @TDDavidHurst and Instagram @TDDavidHurst.

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