October 16, 2005

Local diocese startled by suit

Fairbanks News-Miner

Staff Writer

Officials with the Fairbanks Catholic Diocese were surprised by the "new twist" in the most recent civil suit filed against a priest, diocese spokeswoman Ronnie Rosenberg said.

The suit claims the Rev. James E. Jacobson, a Jesuit priest who served more than a decade in western Alaska, sexually assaulted two women, impregnated them and left two sons behind.

Rosenberg said the latest filing came as a surprise because it differs from the more than 80 suits filed so far against priests who served in diocese. Most of those claims allege child sexual abuse.

While diocese officials were surprised, the Rev. John Whitney, provincial of the Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus, said he was recently made aware that Jacobson is the father of the two male complainants.

"We willingly submitted to the (DNA) testing," Whitney said.

Posted by kshaw at October 16, 2005 09:47 AM