March 19, 2005

New evidence triggers priest abuse lawsuits

King County Journal

by Noel S. Brady
Journal Reporter

BELLEVUE - New evidence in the case of a former Catholic priest and Bellevue child and family psychologist accused of molesting dozens of boys has triggered two new civil lawsuits against the Kenmore seminary where the man trained to be a priest.

Attorneys representing 30 alleged victims of Patrick G. O'Donnell filed two civil lawsuits this week against the Sulpician Seminary of the Northwest, which ran the now-defunct St. Thomas Seminary in Kenmore, and the Associated Sulpicians of the United States. The attorneys claim O'Donnell told seminary officials he had molested boys there between 1968 and 1971.

While the seminary sent O'Donnell to sexual deviancy counseling, they did not prevent him from becoming a priest and going on to lead a parish in Spokane and work as a Boy Scout chaplain, a youth director for the diocese and director of a diocesan youth basketball league, said Seattle attorney Michael Pfau, who filed the lawsuits.

In fact, the Sulpicians wrote glowing recommendations for O'Donnell's ordination, Pfau said. They told the Catholic Bishop of Spokane that O'Donnell was ``good priestly material,'' knowing he was a sexual predator of boys.

Posted by kshaw at March 19, 2005 06:28 AM