MO - Catholic boys home sued for abuse

  • Brothers say they were molested there
  • A staffer saw older kid in bed with younger one
  • Still the abuse continued, new lawsuit contends
  • Archdiocese and archbishop named as defendants
  • Priest who’s now in a parish was also accused of abuse at home
  • He allegedly sexually assaulted three kids but denies allegations

What:

Holding signs and childhood photos, clergy molestation victims will

--announce an unusual new child sex abuse lawsuit involving a Catholic boys home, and

--urge anyone who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes at any church-run institution to speak up, call police.

When:

Thursday, Sept. 29 at 2:00 p.m.

Who:

Two or three members of SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, the nation's largest self-help group for clergy abuse victims

Where:

Outside the archdiocesan headquarters (chancery office), 4445 Lindell in St. Louis’ CWE 

Details:

Two men - Antoine Connors and Bryan Mitchell – say they were sexually abused by bigger kids at the St Joseph’s Home for Boys (which was located on South Grand but closed in 1988).  When the crimes took place, Antoine was 8 to 10 and Bryan was 5 to 6. The suit says that St. Joseph staff caught one of the older boys in bed with Bryan yet the abuse continued even after that.

Both men are now in their 20s and live out of state.  They will NOT be at the news conference. Antoine was at the home from about July 1994 to August 1995 and was abused at least once. Bryan was at the home from about July, 1994 to May, 1996 and was abused several times each week for roughly a year.

Defendants in the new suit, accused of “negligence,” include the archdiocese, Archbishop Robert Carlson, and Good Shepherd Children & Family Services (located at 4532 Lindell and headed by Tom Mulhearn, 367.5500), which operated the home.

The new suit, which seeks unspecified damages, is filed in St. Louis City Circuit Court. The brothers are represented by Clayton attorneys Ken Chackes and Nicole Gorovsky (872-8420, KChackes@cch-law.com, ngorovsky@cch-law.com).

This is at least the second civil suit charging abuse at the home.

In the spring of 2002, Arthur Andreas charged that a different perpetrator, Fr. Alex R. Anderson, molested him at the home in the 1980s. Anderson denied the allegations. But in a statement filed in court, a second young man also said that Anderson abused him in 1988. And archdiocesan official admitted in a deposition that a third man says Anderson molested him too.

For these reasons, for two years, SNAP urged Catholic officials to remove Anderson from his post so that kids would be safer. The church hierarchy never did.

In the summer of 2002, Anderson filed a slander lawsuit against Andreas. At the time, the city’s chief prosecutor, Jennifer Joyce said Anderson's defamation suit "will have a chilling effect on victims, and that's unfortunate. It takes huge courage for people to report these abuses so they can get treatment. This lawsuit will discourage them further."

The archdiocese paid Andreas a settlement of $22,000. Anderson now heads St. Rose of Lima parish in De Soto (636-337-2212).http://www.bishopaccountability.org/assign/Anderson_Alexander_R.htm

Contact:

Barbara Dorris 314 503 0003SNAPdorris@gmail.com, David Clohessy 314 566 9790 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com
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