‘Silence doesn’t work’: Man alleges abuse by two clergymen at East Bay Catholic high school

HAYWARD — A man now in his 50s has filed lawsuit alleging that the Catholic church should have known about two clergymen who abused him as a high school student at Moreau Catholic High School in Hayward.

George Houle publicly stepped forward Wednesday and is alleging that two men during his time at Moreau in Hayward sexually abused him — Brother John Moriarty and the Rev. Gordon Wilcox, who was a priest and the principal at Moreau. Both men have since died: Moriarty in 2013 and Wilcox in 1984.

Houle, now 58, was 15 when the abuse started with Moriarty, a brother who would come to Moreau to recruit students for spiritual retreats in St. Helena or elsewhere, according to the lawsuit. It was there that Moriarty became Houle’s spiritual counselor, and would provide him alcohol and question his sexual activity, the lawsuit says.

Moriarty allegedly abused Houle on multiple occasions at a retreat house in St. Helena, other retreat locations and in hot tubs, according to the lawsuit. The abuse allegedly continued for two years.

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