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  Six More Plaintiffs Allege Abuse While at Orphanage
35 Have Now Sued Sisters of Charity

By Gregory A. Hall ghall@courier-journal.com
The Courier-Journal [Louisville, Kentucky]
August 25, 2004

Six people filed yesterday to join a lawsuit against the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, alleging sexual abuse involving a priest, five nuns and two others over a 30-year period.

The latest filings bring to 35 the number of people who have sued the Nelson County-based order since last month. The plaintiffs accuse the nuns of covering up sexual abuse.

The six new plaintiffs, represented by attorney William McMurry, allege that they were abused at the St. Thomas-St. Vincent Orphanage and that the order was negligent in supervising the alleged abusers.

The Sisters of Charity of Nazareth operated the orphanage for Catholic Charities, which is an agency of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Louisville.

Previous plaintiffs in the suit also allege abuse at orphanages dating to the 1930s and at schools.

Other individuals have filed separate suits.

Yesterday's allegations name three nuns not previously included in the litigation and an assistant at St. Thomas-St. Vincent.

Four of the new plaintiffs accuse the Rev. Herman J. Lammers of sexually abusing them.

Lammers, who died in 1986, has been accused of abuse by 27 of the plaintiffs. He became director of Catholic Charities and resident chaplain at the St. Thomas orphanage in 1939. The orphanage merged with the St. Vincent orphanage in 1952 at the St. Thomas site near Anchorage.

The new plaintiffs:

Delores Matthews, 54, accuses Lammers of sexually abusing her on multiple occasions in the 1950s when she lived at the merged orphanage.

Patricia Spalding, 52, accuses Lammers of sexually abusing her on multiple occasions in the 1950s and '60s at the orphanage.

Patricia Hill, 55, accuses Lammers and three nuns of sexually abusing her on multiple occasions in the 1950s and '60s. Two of the nuns, Sister Mary Ann Powers and Sister Mary Camilla Donahue, both of whom are deceased, have been accused by other plaintiffs. Hill also accused a Sister James Patrick Cronin, who is deceased.

Barbara Qualls, a spokeswoman for the Nazareth order, said Cronin served at the orphanage from 1958 to 1961.

Clifford Hill, 53, accuses Sister Anthony Louise Pereira and Sister Madeline de Paul Galantine of sexually abusing him in the 1950s and '60s. Hill is the brother of Patricia Hill, according to McMurry.

Pereira served at the orphanage from 1946 to 1965, and Galantine served there from 1950 to 1959, Qualls said. Both are deceased.

Elizabeth Hill, 57, accuses Lammers and Powers of sexually abusing her on multiple occasions in the 1950s and '60s. The plaintiff is a sibling of Patricia and Clifford Hill, McMurry said.

Frank Maerz, 64, accuses a coach identified as "Mr. Carney" and an assistant identified as "Mr. Peak" of sexually abusing him multiple times in the 1940s and '50s at the orphanage and at Peak's home.

 
 

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