DINESH RAMDE, Associated Press Writer
MILWAUKEE (AP)A Wisconsin man who said he was abused 40 years ago by a teacher at a Catholic high school sued the school and church officials Tuesday, claiming they allowed the teacher continued access to children despite his apparent history of pedophilia.
The lawsuit was filed in Portage County against Pacelli High School in Stevens Point. It also names the Diocese of La Crosse and the Christian Brothers of the Midwest, a religious order and corporation based in Burr Ridge, Ill.
The plaintiff, identified in court documents as John Doe KD, said Brother Charles Anthony “Raimond” Rose sexually assaulted him in 1969 or 1970 while the boy was a 15-year-old student at Pacelli.
Three or four years earlier, Christian Brothers officials were told that Rose sexually assaulted a male student at a Minneapolis high school, the lawsuit contends. Instead of investigating the misconduct or taking steps to prevent further abuse, Christian Brothers transferred him to a Chicago school for three years and then to Pacelli, according to court documents.
Christian Brothers released a statement Tuesday saying Rose is 76 years old and no longer in active ministry or in contact with minors.
“We deeply regret the events that have been described in the lawsuit that has been filed,” the statement said. “Our prayers are with the family and the victim for the matters that have been described.”
Messages left Tuesday with the school district and diocese were not immediately returned.
There are at least 14 similar lawsuits pending in St. Paul, Minn., and Fargo, N.D., that accuse Rose of molestation, said Patrick Noaker, a Minnesota attorney who is representing the Wisconsin plaintiff.
Rose was never criminally charged in any of the alleged cases, and he has not been named a defendant in the Wisconsin lawsuit.
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.
An attorney in the law firm representing Rose in a separate case said he didn’t know whether his firm would represent Rose in this case as well. Attorney Michael Ford said even if it does represent him the office won’t comment on pending litigation.
Noaker said Rose earned the Wisconsin plaintiff’s trust after the plaintiff’s family invited the teacher over for dinner.
“After he got to know him, Brother Rose was able to coax the kid over to the rectory where he assaulted him,” Noaker said. The abuse consisted of a single act of oral sex on the boy, he added.
The plaintiff, who still lives in Stevens Point, has suffered a lifetime of emotional problems as a result and has battled chemical dependency, Noaker said.
The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages. The money would help the plaintiff put his fractured life back together, Noaker said.
Noaker’s current case will follow a familiar pattern. Lawsuits that allege sexual abuse that occurred decades ago are often barred by the statute of limitations. But a state Supreme Court decision in 2007 allows victims of priest abuse to sue under fraud statutes if they can show they were unaware of the fraud until it was discovered at a later date.
The Wisconsin plaintiff’s lawsuit says school and church officials committed fraud by misrepresenting Rose as a safe around children.
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