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Spotlight Report

N.J. priest stands by accusation

By Michael Rezendes, Globe Staff, 3/19/2002

A New Jersey priest who has said the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn, N.Y., covered up allegations that he and his brother were sexually molested by a Brooklyn pastor said yesterday that he was unmoved after learning that the accused priest again denied the allegations of abuse during a Sunday Mass.

''The truth will win out, however long it takes,'' said Timothy J. Lambert, the New Jersey priest who said he was molested over a three-year period while serving as an altar boy in Queens.

The accused priest, the Rev. Joseph P. Byrns, on Sunday stood before parishioners of Brooklyn's St. Rose of Lima Church and said, ''I have and continue to completely and unconditionally deny these unfounded charges. The accuser, personally known to me, is a deeply tortured, troubled, and disturbed person. He is more to be pitied than condemned.''

Byrns's statement did not address additional allegations of abuse made by Lambert's older brother, Robert, who has said that he, too, was molested by Byrns while growing up in Queens.

Last week, the Globe reported that Lambert's attorney, Stephen C. Rubino, notified Bishop Thomas V. Daily of the Brooklyn Diocese in 1999 of Lambert's allegations in an eight-page letter that provided details of the alleged molestations.

Rubino also provided Daily with copies of psychological evaluations of Lambert.

This story ran on page A12 of the Boston Globe on 3/19/2002.
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