A former student at a Fargo Catholic high school filed a lawsuit Tuesday against his former teacher, the school and the Fargo Roman Catholic Diocese, saying he was sexually assaulted on a school-sponsored trip in 1977.
David Gaffaney, 47, who now lives in Minnesota, is seeking more than $50,000 to cover expenses for medical and psychological help. His lawsuit, filed in state court in Fargo, says he was 14 years old when Charles Anthony “Raimond” Rose sexually assaulted him in an Orlando, Fla., hotel during a school trip.
His lawyer, Patrick Noaker, of St. Paul, said Gaffaney came forward when he learned about several other lawsuits filed in Minnesota against Rose. No criminal charges have been filed against Rose.
The Minnesota lawsuits accuse Rose of sexual abuse while he worked at De La Salle High School in Minneapolis and Cretin-Derham Hall High School in St. Paul in the 1960s and ’70s. Rose spent some time at a retreat center in Stillwater before the Christian Brothers moved him to Shanley High School in Fargo in 1976, Noaker said.
“Dave Gaffaney does need some help and I’m hopeful he’s going to get some help,” Noaker said. “But he doesn’t need to get rich on this case. That’s not what this is about.”
The lawsuit names Rose, Shanley High School, the diocese, Fargo Bishop Samuel Aquila and the Christian Brothers of the Midwest, a religious order and corporation based in Burr Ridge, Ill. Gaffaney’s lawsuit says school officials were negligent by not providing a reasonably safe learning and spiritual environment.
Noaker said Rose is believed to be living in a Christian Brothers residence near a high school for boys in Chicago. Rose didn’t have a listed phone number.
“Given our dedication to educating our youth, we are deeply saddened to learn that another complaint has been filed stemming from sexual abuse that occurred in 1977 by Brother Raimond Rose,” the Christian Brothers said in a written statement Tuesday. “Brother Raimond Rose is currently in his 70s and has not been in active ministry since 2002. In that regard, Brother Rose has not had any contact with minors since that time.”
The diocese said it is committed to protecting young people and urged people to report incidents of child abuse.
“We regret that the plaintiff in this matter has seen fit to choose to file suit rather than to seek a pastoral resolution,” Monsignor Joseph Goering, vicar general of the diocese, said Tuesday night, reading from a written statement.
Goering took no questions.
Officials at Shanley High School did not return phone calls seeking comment. Robert Stich, a Minneapolis attorney who has represented the Christian Brothers in previous cases, said he would likely be retained in this case but could not comment until then. It was not clear if Rose has his own attorney.
“The Christian Brothers either knew that he had been in trouble before or should have known by asking,” Noaker said.
Noaker said he plans to file two other lawsuits involving sexual assaults that took place while Rose was at Shanley. The lawyer said he will interview administrators who were at the school from 1976 to 1980.
“We’re going to have to find them and ask them questions to the extent that they’re available,” Noaker said. “There’s no question that when a decade or two has gone by, there will be some people who won’t be available.”