February 28, 2006

'Painful memories'

Santa Barbara News-Press


February 26, 2006 7:27 AM

The cross that fell from the building where Roman Catholic priest Mario Cimmarrusti once lived sits among the sparse remnants of St. Anthony's Seminary: old trophies, yearbooks, a wood desk with names etched underneath. These and other artifacts were tucked in a storage trailer on the lawn outside the Santa Barbara Mission when the Franciscan Friars sold the 19th century stone seminary last June.

The emotional memories, particularly for boys who went to the school in the late 1960s, are harder to catalog. Even harder to tuck away.

They will re-emerge in an Oakland courtroom March 6 when a lawsuit filed by one of those students, known only as John Doe 39, is expected to go to trial. He sued the priest's religious order, the Franciscans, over alleged sexual abuse in the late 1960s. Eight similar lawsuits involving the Rev. Cimmarrusti, who was the focal figure of campus life during his time at the all-boys high school, are also pending in Southern California.

Posted by kshaw at February 28, 2006 08:24 AM