updated 7/16/2008 3:54:03 PM ET 2008-07-16T19:54:03

A lawsuit brought against two Roman Catholic dioceses by five men sexually abused by a Catholic school teacher was dismissed Wednesday by the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Although the diocese of Milwaukee and Madison knew about the teacher's past, its failure to warn potential victims in other states did not constitute negligence, the supreme court said.

"Obviously I think it's unfortunate because this is a teacher that molested students in two different locations and went on to do it again," said Wendy Gunderson, the attorney for the men.

Attorneys and representatives for the dioceses did not immediately return messages seeking comment.

The men, who were abused in Kentucky, accused the Wisconsin dioceses of covering up the teacher's abuse of dozens of children in the 1960s while he taught at Catholic schools in Madison and Milwaukee.

The men — Kenneth Hornback, Dennis L. Bolton, Ronald W. Kuhl, David W. Schaeffer and Glenn M. Bonn — were among 243 plaintiffs compensated under a $25.7 million church abuse settlement with the Archdiocese of Louisville. They were all under age 15 when they were sexually abused by Gary Kazmarek, a Catholic school teacher and coach in Louisville, between 1968 and 1973.

Kazmarek pleaded guilty in 2003 to sexually abusing the men and is serving a 13-year prison sentence in Kentucky.

After the settlement in Louisville, the men filed the lawsuit in Wisconsin claiming the dioceses in the state were negligent in failing to contact police or warn employers that Kazmarek was known for sexually abusing children.

The lawsuit alleged that Kazmarek abused more than two dozen children between 1964 and 1966 when he taught at a parish school in Milwaukee.

When the diocese learned of the abuse, church officials told Kazmarek to "leave Milwaukee quietly" despite promises to parents that he would get treatment and never have contact with children again, according to the suit. Kazmarek then went on to teach at a Catholic school in suburban Madison where he abused up to ten children before moving to Kentucky, the lawsuit said.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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