July 08, 2005

Mater Dei, Ex-Teacher Sued in Alleged Abuse

Los Angeles Times

By Jeff Gottlieb, Times Staff Writer

A former student at Mater Dei in Santa Ana has sued the Roman Catholic high school and her former driver education teacher, saying he molested her for two years in the mid-1990s, starting when she was 16.

Her attorney, John C. Manly, said the girl reported the incidents at the time to police in Westminster, where the defendant lives, but no charges were filed.

Defendant Jeffrey Andrade, 44, said he was unaware of the suit. He said police had investigated the case and "didn't find anything."

The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in Orange County Superior Court, charges that Mater Dei and the Bishop of Orange "engaged in a pattern and practice of hiring sexual abusers as faculty and staff administration" at Mater Dei. It says that since 1976 the high school has hired at least 10 people who sexually abused students.

"What happened to my client is part and parcel of acceptance in the diocese of adults sexually accessing minors and using positions of trust and authority to do it," said Manly, a Mater Dei graduate who has filed several abuse lawsuits against Catholic churches.

The suit does not ask for a specific amount of dollar damages.

Posted by kshaw at July 8, 2005 05:51 AM