Jesuits Paid Settlement to Sex Abuse Victim
By Patricia Rice
October 22, 2003
A man who recently received a $185,000 settlement from the Missouri Province of the Jesuits because of sexual abuse from a Jesuit counselor in the early 1970s wants Missouri to rescind its statute of limitation for sexual abuse crimes against minors.
He also called on his fellow St. Louis University High School alumni to vigilantly address these issues.
Tom Kevin O'Connor, 49, of Charlottesville, Va. received the settlement from the Jesuits, in response to his allegations that for "two or three years" while he was at the high school, the Rev. Jack Campbell sexually molested him. O'Connor spoke today in a phone interview from his home.
The abuse was described to O'Connor by the priest "as therapy" during the youth's counseling appointments in the rectory of St. Francis Xavier Church, O'Connor said.
The abuse occurred while O'Connor was a student at St. Louis University High School. O'Connor graduated from the Jesuit high school on Oakland Avenue opposite Forest Park in 1972.
Campbell was neither on the faculty of St. Louis University High School nor St. Louis University at that time, according to Father Timothy McMahon, the provincial of the Missouri Province. Campbell, now 82, lives in a Jesuit retirement facility in Denver. He has had no public ministry for some time and is not allowed to say Mass publicly, a spokesman said.
Members of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests announced the settlement on the sidewalk outside the school this afternoon.
O'Connor believes that if the statute of limitations on sexual abuse of youth were extended in Missouri, more predators would be wary of abusing young people.
O'Connor did not take his allegations to civil courts because the statue of limitations in Missouri have run out.
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