Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Teacher accused
Richmond man alleged sexual abuse by teacher
By From staff and wire reports
Published: December 08, 2010
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nowBuzz up!A Richmond man who says he was sexually abused by a high school teacher in North Dakota is one of 21 men who have filed lawsuits against the teacher, Brother Raimond Rose, for cases dating back to the 1960s.

Kevin Price, 47, who moved to Richmond 10 years ago and raises money for nonprofits, said he was struggling with memories of the abuse by his religion teacher his freshman year at Shanley High School in Fargo, N.D.

The lawsuit Price joined, filed by a former classmate, was settled this summer with the Catholic Diocese of Fargo, which ran the school, and the religious order that provided teachers, De La Salle Christian Brothers. Price declined to release details of the settlement because he signed a confidentiality agreement.

Price reached out to De La Salle, which educates more than 1 million students worldwide, and the organization apologized for Price's pain and sought to reassure him. The order's Midwest leader, Brother Thomas Johnson, said Rose had been forbidden from contact with anyone younger than 18 and was working in a prison.

But in a 1995 letter to Price, Johnson neglected to mention that the prison was a juvenile detention center in Minnesota that housed young men from 10 to 21 years old. Johnson is now the second-ranking official in the worldwide order. One of the inmates later filed a lawsuit accusing him of molestation.

"It wasn't until I talked to the attorney [for the lawsuit] that I realized all my efforts were in vain because Brother Rose had abused other kids at that facility," Price said. "That really pushed me over the edge to go forward" with the lawsuit.

Price and the other accusers feel betrayed by the order, which operates more than 1,000 schools and educational institutions in 82 countries, including about 75 high schools in the U.S.

It's unclear whether Christian Brothers knew the full scope of the accusations against Rose. But the order was well aware that Rose was not supposed to be working with children.

Price said that Johnson "told me what I believed to be honest and truthful — that Brother Raimond had been addressed by the Christian Brothers. It's really been a shock to me and has kind of shattered my faith."

Rose, 77, has not been criminally charged. Law-enforcement agencies in California, Minnesota and North Dakota have investigated various allegations against him.

Several of Rose's accusers provided The Associated Press with documents. Most were plaintiffs in a series of recently settled lawsuits against the Christian Brothers filed by Patrick Noaker, an attorney in the St. Paul law firm run by Jeff Anderson, one of the country's most active plaintiff's attorneys in clergy-abuse cases.

Many of Rose's accusers say the order responded by shuffling him from job to job — at Catholic high schools in Minnesota, North Dakota, Wisconsin and California.

The Christian Brothers in 2004 paid $1.1 million to a former student at De La Salle High School in Concord, Calif., where Rose taught in the early 1980s. The student was among several at the school who alleged molestation by Rose.

Most of the plaintiffs interviewed by the AP declined to discuss their settlements, though Paul Mehl of Fargo, N.D., said he got $50,000 from the Christian Brothers. Several said they were disappointed the settlement didn't include a strong statement of responsibility from leaders of the order.

The AP generally does not identify victims of alleged sexual abuse, but Price and other men interviewed allowed their names to be used.

A Louisiana native, Rose became a brother in 1963. Brothers make vows of poverty, celibacy and obedience and live in religious communities, but they are not ordained as priests and do not preside over Mass or administer other sacraments.

Many of the accusations followed a similar pattern: Rose allegedly took a boy or groups of boys on school trips, gave them alcohol, and then molested one or two after everyone had fallen asleep or passed out.

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