January 14, 2005

3 join suit, claim abuse

Anchorage Daily News

Anchorage Daily News

Three more men said Thursday that a now-deceased Catholic priest abused them when they were children, molesting them during "wrestling" matches and buying their silence with pop and candy.

The men joined a lawsuit filed in Bethel in December by another victim, identified in court documents as Jack Doe 1, who accused the same Jesuit priest, the Rev. Francis X. Nawn, of sexually abusing him when he was a teenager. Jack Doe 1 also accused the Rev. Segundo Llorente, a former state legislator, of molesting him as a boy.

The defendants named in the lawsuit are the Diocese of Fairbanks, the Society of Jesus Oregon Province and the Alaska Jesuits. The plaintiffs, identified as Jack Doe 1-4, claim that church officials moved priests from parish to parish to conceal the extent of the abuse and to avoid scandal and investigation by civil authorities.

Fairbanks Bishop Donald Kettler denied those accusations Thursday. He said, "I absolutely believe that no priest was moved from one place to another because the diocese became aware of sexual abuse."

The three new plaintiffs are the latest from rural Alaska represented by attorney Ken Roosa, who has sued the Diocese of Fairbanks and the Oregon Jesuits based on allegations from 56 people against four priests and one monk.

Kettler said the diocese has to accept the latest claims and work from there.

"We'll continue to just work with the situation and just do the best for truth and justice for everyone involved," he said.

Posted by kshaw at January 14, 2005 07:36 AM