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Parties agree to dismiss case against monk

May 19, 2010 - A civil lawsuit filed by a woman who accused a Catholic monk in Addison Township of repeatedly sexually assaulting and threatening her over a four-year period was voluntarily dismissed by the parties involved.

"It is hereby ordered that all claims of which could have been asserted by Plaintiff against Defendant Fr. Daniel Homan are dismissed with prejudice," wrote Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Michael Warren in an April 30 order.

Homan, who serves as prior of the St. Benedict Monastery (2711 E. Drahner Rd.), did not return a phone call seeking comment.

"The case was dismissed," said Homan's attorney Jerome L. Fenton, of Franklin. "I won't go any further than what the order said."

Apparently, the decision to dismiss the case was a mutual one.

"The plaintiff and the defense counsel everyone has agreed that they would dismiss the complaint with prejudice," according to one of Judge Warren's clerks. "It wasn't the judge, it was the parties involved. They decided to stipulate and remove the case from the court's docket . . .The parties in this case have voluntarily dismissed it."

In the legal world, when a court case is dismissed with prejudice, it means the case is over and done with, once and for all, and can't ever be brought back to court.

In a separate May 5 order, Judge Warren also dismissed with prejudice the woman's complaint against the Archdiocese of Detroit, which was named as a defendant in her suit.

An April 29 e-mail from the plaintiff's attorney Renee Picard, of Lapeer, appears to indicate there may have been some type of settlement involved with the dismissal.

"I got the release in the mail today, but forgot the dismissal," Picard wrote to Homan's other attorney, Lindsay James Kennedy, of Farmington Hills. "I have reviewed the order (of dismissal) and you have my permission to sign it."

Her reference to "the release" appears to indicate a possible settlement. Picard did not return phone calls seeking comment.

If there was a settlement, this newspaper would not have access to it.

"Usually monetary settlements aren't disclosed," said the judge's clerk. "You would have to talk to the parties involved because we don't have that information and if we did, I wouldn't be privilege to it."

In November 2009, the plaintiff, a woman from Snover, Michigan, filed suit against Homan alleging that from August 2000 until November 2004, he subjected her "to sexual and other assaults while acting in the capacity of a spiritual adviser."

The suit also alleged Homan subjected her to "threats of harm" and "mental threats" over the years.

This woman, who collaborated on four books with Homan, claimed they began a "romantic relationship" in July 2000.

In September 2005, the suit alleged Homan entered into a written agreement through which he paid the woman $25,000 "as compensation for the injuries she had sustained."

CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.
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