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COURT HOUSE - A Maryland woman, identified as Jane Doe, filed a lawsuit Dec. 2, claiming that a priest, John P. Paul, of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, sexually abused her in the 1980s, The Press of Atlantic City reports.

The suit, filed in Cape May County Superior Court, claims Paul sexually abused the woman in a hotel in Ocean City, and at a retreat owned by the Brothers of the Christian Schools, in the 3000 block of Central Avenue.

Paul was voluntarily laicized (defrocked) in 2015.

The suit is one of at least three civil suits filed, claiming members of the Roman Catholic Church abused minors in South Jersey, following a state law that took effect Dec. 1, allowing sex abuse victims to sue until they turn 55, or within seven years of their first realization the abuse caused them harm, according to the report.

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