NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) _ The Knights of Columbus wants a judge to dismiss lawsuits by two men alleging a youth leader sexually abused them decades ago, saying the claims are time-barred by a statute of limitations.

The men sued in December, saying a former leader of the Columbian Squires in Texas abused them in the 1970s and 1980s when they were boys. Their attorney said he believed the lawsuits were the first against the Knights, the world’s largest Catholic lay organization, to allege sexual abuse of children.

The Knights filed motions in U.S. District Court in Hartford Monday seeking dismissal of the lawsuits. They say the lawsuits missed a deadline under Texas law, which allowed plaintiffs to file lawsuits within two years of turning 18.

A message was left with the plaintiffs’ attorney.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)


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