March 01, 2005

Distant sex-abuse cases get local aid

Orange County Register

The Orange County Register

In the bleak, isolated villages along the Bering Sea, Jim Poole, the founder of missionary radio KNOM, stood out as a different kind of spiritual leader.

People Magazine called the Jesuit "Western Alaska's Hippest DJ." The archbishop of Anchorage, Alaska, called him "a dynamic priest, a man of personal discipline despite his relaxed, almost casual manner."

Now it appears that Poole may have been too casual - and not at all disciplined.

Lawsuits and claims filed with the church accuse Poole of kissing, fond ling and simulating sex acts with native girls as young as 10. One suit alleges that he impregnated a 14-year-old, then encouraged her to have an abortion and blame her father.

In a deposition taken last year by Costa Mesa sexual-abuse litigator John Manly, Poole admitted French-kissing young girls and having them lie on top of him, according to lawyers on both sides. But he denied that his intentions were sexual or that he impregnated anyone.

Posted by kshaw at March 1, 2005 03:57 AM