|Sex Abuse Lawsuit Names Catholic Brother Who Once Taught at Cretin High
By Emily Gurnon
May 19, 2009
Plaintiff allegedly his former student at Cretin High School
A Roman Catholic brother who taught at Cretin High School in the late 1960s and early 1970s has been accused in a lawsuit of sexually abusing a teenage boy who attended the school.
Brother Charles Anthony "Raimond" Rose, known as "Brother Rai" to his students, worked at Cretin from 1968 to 1972, according to the suit, filed Monday in Ramsey County District Court.
A former student identified in the suit as "John Doe 128" alleges Rose "engaged in unpermitted, harmful and offensive sexual contact" with him at the Dunrovin Christian Brothers Retreat Center in Marine on St. Croix.
The plaintiff came from a devout and active Roman Catholic family, and "therefore developed great admiration, trust, reverence and respect for the Roman Catholic Church and its agents," the suit said.
Mary Jo Groeller, a spokeswoman for Cretin-Derham Hall, said she had not seen the lawsuit and therefore could not comment on it. She declined to confirm Rose's term of employment at the school.
Brother Francis Carr of the Christian Brothers of the Midwest, the order to which Rose belonged, said in a written statement that Rose is 76 years old and has not been in active ministry or had contact with minors since 2002. The group is named as a defendant in the case.
"It has been the long-standing mission of the De La Salle Christian Brothers of the Midwest to serve and empower God's people and one another through the educational mission of the Catholic Church. Thus, given who we are, the abuse of any child is an affront to our mission and purpose, and we do not and will not tolerate such abuse," he said.
"Our prayers go out to all involved in this matter," Carr said.
The suit alleges fraud on the part of the defendants for representing to the plaintiff that Rose was not a danger to children by employing him and allowing him unsupervised access to children.
In fact, the suit claims, the defendants knew Rose had been accused in 1966 of sexually abusing a male student at De La Salle High School in Minneapolis. Another lawsuit regarding that case is pending.
Though the new suit involves only the allegation regarding Rose's time at Cretin, a member of the Voice of the Faithful said Rose also taught at the now-closed Archbishop Brady High School in West St. Paul during the 1973-74 school year.
"He informed students that he had come from New York, and that he had been 'a cop' before becoming a Christian brother," said Suzanne Severson, of the group, which consists of lay Catholics and formed in response to clergy sex abuse charges.
Severson and Bob Schwiderski, Minnesota director of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, held a news conference Monday in front of Cretin-Derham Hall.
Schwiderski said the religious institutions themselves — not the lay groups — should be warning the public about sexual abuse by priests and brothers.
"How can they sit here and preach religion and not reach out to those who are laying on the side of the road bleeding?" he said. "They've got to stop it."
Emily Gurnon can be reached at 651-228-5522 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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