3 More Ex-Jesuit Staffers Accused
Ex-Maintenance Official at School Denies Abuse; 2 Teachers Also Named
Dallas Morning News
April 24, 2002
Three more former employees of Dallas' Jesuit College Preparatory School have been accused of sexual abuse, widening a scandal that was already plaguing the prestigious Catholic order elsewhere in the nation.
There were these developments Tuesday in Florida, Louisiana and Texas:
*A former teacher at the North Dallas boys school, the Rev. Vincent Orlando, was suspended from a Catholic school in Tampa after being accused of molestation. According to a news release from the Jesuit order's regional headquarters in New Orleans, "School officials learned he has been cited for sexual misconduct with a minor in 1985 while stationed in Texas."
*The president of Jesuit Prep acknowledged that he fired a maintenance supervisor, Brother Claude Ory, in 1994 after repeatedly hearing allegations of sexual impropriety, providing alcohol to minors and ultimately sexual assault. The president, the Rev. Philip Postell, previously had insisted that no one under his supervision had been accused of sexual misconduct during his 10 years at the Dallas school.
*The Jesuit order official investigating a molestation allegation against one of Father Postell's predecessors said he removed another Jesuit Prep teacher in the early 1980s because of sexual misconduct. The Rev. Tom Stahel said he could not remember specifics of the case against the Rev. Don Dickerson, who he said left the order in the mid-1980s and no longer functions as a priest.
Mr. Dickerson could not be located for comment. Brother Ory, now minister of a Jesuit residence house at Loyola College in Baltimore, Md., admitted the alcohol allegations to The Dallas Morning News but denied any sexual wrongdoing. He was never criminally charged. Father Orlando was not available for comment, The Tampa Tribune was told.
The initial case
The first allegation against a former Jesuit Prep employee came last week. The Rev. Thomas Naughton was accused of molesting a sophomore in 1978, when he was the school's president. He has been suspended from a California church and has declined to comment.
Father Postell, the current president of Jesuit, told The News last week that Father Naughton had never before been accused of any sort of misconduct. He suggested that Father Naughton simply left in 1979 after six years at the school, a typical term of service.
But on Tuesday, Father Postell said that Father Naughton was removed suddenly because of a drinking problem. What he meant last week, he said, was that the priest had not been previously accused of sexual misbehavior.
Father Postell said he learned only recently of two allegations that were reported to school officials in 1979: that Father Naughton had reached into a locker-room whirlpool to grope a young faculty member; and that he had been seen in the one-person tub with someone else as student athletes were returning from a game.
Former teachers say Father Postell was in a position to know about these matters then because he was assigned to the Jesuit order's regional headquarters, overseeing secondary schools in Texas and other states. His superior at the time was Father Stahel.
Both Father Postell and Father Stahel said Tuesday that school officials did not tell them about the sexual allegations at the time.
Father Naughton worked for many years in Jesuit schools before being removed from the one in Dallas; afterward, he worked in Jesuit retreat houses, including one in Denton County, before going to the California parish in the mid-1990s.
One of his school assignments, from 1969 to 1972, was as principal of the Jesuit high school in Tampa. That's the school from which Father Orlando was removed this week.
Father Stahel would not detail the allegations against Father Naughton or Father Orlando. It wasn't immediately clear Tuesday night where Father Orlando was working in 1985, the year in which he is alleged to have committed abuse. He worked at Jesuit schools in Houston and Dallas before going to Tampa in 2000.
The accusers of Father Naughton and Father Orlando have not been identified and have not spoken publicly about the allegations or their reasons for coming forward now.
The accuser's side
The man who accused Brother Ory of sexually assaulting him spoke to The News on Tuesday. He said he agreed to discuss the incident because he believed that the brother "needs to be out of the church" and the status it affords him. He also criticized Father Postell for saying last week that no one under his supervision at Jesuit Prep had been accused of sexual misconduct.
"Everything I was taught there is why I'm telling you this," he said. The school's mission statement stresses, among other things, that "the service of faith demands the promotion of justice."
Father Postell stood by his previous comments Tuesday, saying that what he had meant was that no student had ever accused Brother Ory of sexual misconduct.
Brother Ory's accuser was 18 at the time, had just graduated and was working on a campus maintenance crew over the summer to repay a tuition debt. He reported the incident within days to Dallas police and school officials.
The man said that after a long day's work in the mid-1990s, Brother Ory supplied him large quantities of alcohol, both on and off campus. He said he believes the brother also spiked a drink with an unknown hallucinogen. They ended up at an off-campus apartment, where he said Brother Ory took advantage of his extreme intoxication by grabbing his genitals and trying to perform oral sex.
He said he ran from the apartment, wearing no shirt or shoes, and ultimately found a ride home from a friend who lived nearby.
Father Postell said that he had no proof of the graduate's account and that he fired Brother Ory about this time because he suspected him of drinking on the job. He acknowledged having received several previous allegations of sexual impropriety against Brother Ory, including harassment of young adult laborers.
He said he played no role in Brother Ory's subsequent reassignment to a Jesuit college in Mobile, Ala., or his later move to Loyola in Baltimore.
Dallas police, the graduate said, didn't seem to believe him at all. On one report, the detective assigned to the case wrote that she closed it after he didn't return a phone call - something the complainant disputes. Brother Ory said Tuesday that officers never questioned him about the matter and that he hadn't even known a police report was filed.
Senior Cpl. Diana Watts, a police spokeswoman, said department policy prevented her from commenting on any aspect of a sexual assault case.
Brother Ory denied drugging or assaulting his accuser. He admitted providing him alcohol and having a drinking problem himself, for which he later received treatment at a Catholic facility in Canada that also treats sexual offenders.
The brother - who, like a priest, took a vow of celibacy - said he thinks he drank with his accuser because "I was trying to bond." He said he discouraged him from going home to his parents that night because the young man was so inebriated.
"He wanted to go home, and I said, 'No, you stay right here,'" Brother Ory said. "I don't accuse myself of pedophilia."
Brother Ory said he could not understand why he was accused of sexual misconduct in this case or others. One previous accuser was a co-worker who told school officials that he stumbled across Brother Ory performing a sex act on a third worker in a campus building.
"He was crazy," Brother Ory said, adding that the accuser was fired shortly thereafter for unrelated reasons.
The allegations come as the Catholic Church faces unprecedented pressure to deal with sexual misconduct among its priests and end the cover-ups that have allowed many abusers to go on working. Much of the attention has focused on dioceses in the Northeast, but the Jesuit order - a worldwide entity - has also come under fire. Among recent revelations:
*The Rev. Norman Rogge was removed this month from a Louisiana parish after a reporter at a weekly newspaper uncovered two old sexual abuse cases, both of which had ended with guilty pleas. In 1967, he was sentenced to probation and psychiatric counseling for groping a boy; in 1985, he was again ordered into treatment for performing a lewd act in front of an 11-year-old Florida boy.
*Jesuit officials last month gave Massachusetts prosecutors the names of seven priests accused of sexual misconduct since the 1970s. At least five had worked at a Boston prep school, where graduates have recently detailed accounts of molestation.
*Two California Jesuits are defendants in a lawsuit alleging that they sexually assaulted mentally disabled men for years at a Jesuit-run center. One, Brother Charles Leonard Connor, pleaded no contest to a criminal charge last year. A Jesuit official has acknowledged both priests abused the men and that Brother Connor, when first accused, was sent to live at a Jesuit high school.
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