Authorities: Man falsely claimed abuse by priests




SALEM, Ore. — Prosecutors say an inmate in a federal prison falsely claimed he was abused as a child by priests in four Catholic dioceses.

The U.S. attorney’s office in Portland said Tuesday that a grand jury has indicted 49-year-old Shamont Sapp on charges of mail fraud.

The indictment alleges that Sapp filed claims in courts over a five-year period alleging abuse by specific priests in the dioceses of Tucson, Ariz.; Covington, Ky.; and Spokane, as well as the Archdiocese of Portland.

It says the priests Sapp named didn’t abuse him, and his claims were dismissed or denied.

Federal records show Sapp on parole. Authorities say he is to appear in court in Harrisburg, Pa., and the government wants a trial in Portland. Court records don’t list an attorney for him.