October 14, 2005

Suit claims priest raped women

Fairbanks News-Miner

Staff Writer

The latest court filing against the Catholic Church in Alaska alleges a Jesuit priest sexually assaulted two women, impregnated them and left two sons behind.

The allegations of rape and paternity, the latter confirmed by recent DNA tests, were filed Thursday in Bethel Superior Court by two men and the mother of one, listed anonymously as John A. Doe, John B. Doe, and Jane B. Doe. The other mother is deceased. The suit names the Rev. James E. Jacobson, the Fairbanks Catholic Diocese and the Society of Jesus Oregon and Alaska.

Jacobson, who recently retired as a prison chaplain in Oregon and resides at Regis Jesuit House at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Wash., served from 1963 to 1976 in a number of Yupik Eskimo villages in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta region.

The Anchorage attorney for the plaintiffs, Christopher Cooke of Cooke, Roosa & Valcarce law firm, said the two John Does contacted the firm after years of speculation, rumors, gossip and hearsay about their paternity. The DNA tests, taken in August, prove beyond a doubt that Jacobson is the biological father of both men, Cooke said.

The lawsuit alleges that the mother of John A. Doe, now deceased, was sexually assaulted by Jacobson in December 1965, in the priest's quarters in a Yupik village. As a result, she became pregnant and gave birth to John A. Doe in August 1966.

Posted by kshaw at October 14, 2005 09:23 AM