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Church in Crisis
The Rev. Kevin Cole

Louisville Courier-Journal
September 29, 2002

http://www.courier-journal.com/cjextra/2002projects/priestabuse/stories/cole_bellermine.html

[See the main page of this special section on the Church in Crisis.]

Cole, who died in 1991, was a member of the Conventual Franciscans' Province of Our Lady of Consolation, based in Mount St. Francis, Ind. He taught at Bellarmine College and was a chaplain with the Kentucky Air National Guard in the 1960s. He was also pastor of Our Lady of Consolation Church in Louisville and served assignments in Wyoming, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin, where he died at age 63.


BELLARMINE COLLEGE

PLAINTIFF: Shannon Shaughnessy Age
AGE: 42
ADDRESS: Louisville area
OCCUPATION: X-ray technician
FILED SUIT: May 21
DEFENDANT: Archdiocese of Louisville

DATE AND LOCATION OF ALLEGED ABUSE: 1968 to 1970, Bellarmine College, family home, vacations
ACCUSATION: Unspecified abuse
DETAILS OF ALLEGATION: Age said she was 7 to 10 years old when the abuse took place.
WAS ANYONE TOLD? She said she and her sister (Deborah Shaughnessy Ernspiker) told their parents.
IN THE PLAINTIFF'S WORDS: "I'm a very faithful Catholic. I'm not upset with my religion. I'm very upset with the good ol' boys club."



PLAINTIFF: Joetta Stone Blair
AGE: 46
ADDRESS: Louisville
OCCUPATION: Receptionist
FILED SUIT: June 7
DEFENDANT: Archdiocese of Louisville
DATE AND LOCATION OF ALLEGED ABUSE: 1962 and 1963, Bellarmine College
ACCUSATION: Fondling
DETAILS: Blair said she was 6 or 7 years old when Cole befriended her family through a neighbor. Cole would take her to an amusement park and then to his room at Bellarmine where he fondled her.
WAS ANYONE TOLD? Blair said she told her mother and that her father talked to Monsignor Alfred Horrigan, president of Bellarmine College, and was told Horrigan would take care of it. Horrigan testified in a July 23 deposition that the parents of an abuse victim complained to him about Cole (he did not identify the parents). Cole did not deny the charges and said he had an appointment with a psychiatrist the next day, Horrigan testified. Horrigan acknowledged he never followed up with Cole or reported the matter to anyone else. The plaintiff's mother, Eleanor McHargue, said she confronted Cole by phone and said he told her the Franciscans had transferred him to Louisville from Ohio after a similar allegation there.
IN THE PLAINTIFF'S WORDS: "The church said they were going to take care of the problems and they didn't. I feel like they need to be held accountable for what they didn't do."



PLAINTIFF: Deborah Shaughnessy Ernspiker
AGE: 44
ADDRESS: Louisville area
OCCUPATION: Teaching/media assistant; child-care counselor
FILED SUIT: May 21
DEFENDANT: Archdiocese of Louisville
DATE AND LOCATION OF ALLEGED ABUSE: 1968 to 1970, Bellarmine College, family home, vacations
ACCUSATION: Unspecified abuse.
DETAILS: Ernspiker said she was 9 to 12 years old when the abuse took place.
WAS ANYONE TOLD? Parents
IN THE PLAINTIFF'S WORDS: "I would like to see the church making a safer place for the children. We're not going to stand by and let little children be victimized over and over again without consequences."



PLAINTIFF: Kathleen Willenbrink Kearney
AGE: 45
ADDRESS: Forest Hill, Md.
OCCUPATION: Registered nurse
FILED SUIT: June 26
DEFENDANT: Archdiocese of Louisville
DATE AND LOCATION OF ALLEGED ABUSE: 1962 to 1965, Bellarmine College, family home, Mount St. Francis, Cole's car, movie theater.
ACCUSATION: Fondling, oral sex.
DETAILS: Kearney said that when she was between the ages of 5 and 8, Cole would take her on outings, fondle and perform oral sex on her.
WAS ANYONE TOLD? She said she and her sister (Ann Willenbrink Lockwood) told their parents. Her father, Robert Willenbrink, said he confronted Cole and told him never to come near his family again, but did not tell any church officials. As an adult in 1988, Kearney said she contacted the Franciscans and wanted to make sure there were no other victims. A Franciscan official wrote back, saying the Franciscans knew of no other victims.
IN THE PLAINTIFF'S WORDS: "These priests committed crimes and they need to go to jail. We can forgive them when they go to jail."



PLAINTIFF: Ann Willenbrink Lockwood (declined to be interviewed)
FILED SUIT: June 26
DEFENDANT: Archdiocese of Louisville
DATE AND LOCATION OF ALLEGED ABUSE: 1962 to 1965, Bellarmine College
ACCUSATION: Unspecified abuse
DETAILS: She said the abuse took place when she was about 11 to 13 years old.

 
 

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