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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Civil suit filed against former Hawaii priest for sex assault of teen

Advertiser Staff

A former Roman Catholic priest who was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2000 for sexually abusing a 13-year-old O'ahu boy is at the center of a civil lawsuit filed yesterday in Denver, Colo.

The lawsuit alleges Mark Matson repeatedly assaulted a 15-year old boy while the teen was attending St. Andrews Seminary in Denver in 1976.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of the former student, identified only as "John Doe," who is now 49 years old and a resident of the Denver area. The complaint contends that when the student confronted Matson about a series of sexual assaults, the priest claimed to have found marijuana in the boy's belongings and had him expelled from the Denver seminary.

The lawsuit was filed by Mermelstein & Horowitz, a Miami law firm specializing in representing child sexual assault victims.

Matson was a chaplain at Tripler Army Medical Center before the Hawai'i crimes occurred in August 1998.

During his criminal trial in Honolulu, the victim testified Matson was showing him magic tricks about levitating when he started fondling him. Matson denied molesting the boy.

Matson remains behind bars at the Halawa Correctional Facility and is scheduled for release in 2020.