‘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.
A year later in 1976, Houle had academic difficulties at school and was told Wilcox would tutor him at his private residence. It was during these tutoring sessions that Wilcox allegedly gave Houle, who was around 16 years old, alcohol and sexually abused him.
The abuse continued for months, and didn’t stop until Houle told his friends. The information was relayed to officials at Moreau, and Houle was expelled, for failing a mandatory class, the lawsuit says. Wilcox transferred to a different school.
“I was told these were men of God, that would never do such a thing, yet they did,” Houle said on Wednesday.
Being at his former high school on Wedne...