July 08, 2005

Lawsuit alleges abuse by lay teacher at Catholic high school

Contra Costa Times

Associated Press

SANTA ANA, Calif. - A woman who claims she was sexually abused by her former driver education teacher at a Roman Catholic high school has filed suit against the Orange County diocese and the instructor.

The suit, filed Wednesday in Orange County Superior Court, is the first brought against the diocese since it settled some 90 clergy abuse cases for $100 million in December 2004. The plaintiff, now 25, is referred to only as "Jane C.R. Doe" in the court papers.

The lawsuit accuses lay teacher Jeffrey Andrade, 44, of molesting the girl from 1995 to 1997, starting when she was 16. It also alleges the diocese "engaged in a pattern and practice of hiring sexual abusers as faculty and staff administration," saying the school has employed at least 10 alleged molesters since 1976.

"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 John Manly, a Mater Dei graduate who represented a number of the plaintiffs in the December settlement.

Posted by kshaw at July 8, 2005 08:27 AM