Jesuits pay $185,000 to student who says priest
By PATRICIA RICE - St. Louis Post-Dispatch
October 23, 2003
The Missouri Province of the Jesuits has paid a $185,000
settlement to a former
St. Louis University High School student who alleges he was
molested in the
1970s by a now-retired Jesuit priest.
Tom Kevin O'Connor, 49, who now lives in Charlottesville,
Va., is the 13th man
to bring credible allegations of sexual abuse against the
Rev. John J. "Jack"
Campbell, now 82, a Jesuit official acknowledged Wednesday.
O'Connor is the first one to go public with his accusations.
Campbell, who lives under supervision in a Jesuit retirement
center in Denver,
could not be reached for comment. Campbell has neither admitted
nor denied the
allegations, but said he does not remember any incidents,
said the Rev. Timothy
McMahon, provincial of the Missouri Province of the Jesuits.
Campbell was in residence at the high school campus, but
was not teaching at
the school when O'Connor was enrolled there, Jesuit officials
often led retreats at area high schools and the White House
Center in south St. Louis County
O'Connor alleged that for two or three years before and after
graduation from the high school in 1972, Campbell sexually
molested him "as
therapy" during counseling appointments in the rectory
of St. Francis Xavier
(College) Church at Grand and Lindell boulevards.
The allegations against Campbell and the recent settlement
with O'Connor were
made public Wednesday by the Survivors Network of those Abused
by Priests, an
advocacy group. The group held a news conference on the sidewalk
high school, on Oakland Avenue across from Forest Park.
Including the latest payment two weeks ago to O'Connor and
his lawyer, Patrick
Noaker, of St. Paul, Minn., about $575,000 in settlements
and doctors' bills
have been paid to victims of Campbell's alleged abuse over
the last 14 years, a
spokesman for the Jesuits said Wednesday.
Campbell was removed from public ministry in 1989 and lost
faculties, including the ability to say Mass, said McMahon,
reporters inside the high school minutes after the SNAP event.
Seven times during the news conference, once with his voice
apologized on behalf of the Jesuits and as an alumnus of the
high school for
the broken trust, harm and ensuing anger that O'Connor and
As part of the settlement, both McMahon and the Rev. Paul
of the high school, also had to write letters of apology to
Sheridan on Wednesday called an assembly of the school's
1,054 students in the
gym to tell them about O'Connor's allegation. "They were
very sober; everyone
is hurting today," Sheridan said. Counseling will be
available to the student
body, he said.