|Former De LA Salle Teacher Faces New Sexual Abuse Allegations in Minnesota
By John Simerman
San Jose Mercury News
June 26, 2009
A former religion teacher at De La Salle High School in Concord who was accused of sexually abusing a student on a ski trip to Lake Tahoe in 1982, resulting in a seven-figure payout, is the subject of a flurry of new lawsuits in Minnesota alleging similar crimes before he came to California.
Among at least three lawsuits involving Brother Charles Anthony "Raimond" Rose are two alleging fraud — a recent legal strategy used by victims of childhood sexual abuse to overcome lapsed statutes of limitations on personal injury claims.
The latest, filed Thursday, accuses the Christian Brothers order in Minnesota and a St. Paul high school with knowing Rose had a history of sexual abuse when, the lawsuit alleges, he sexually abused a teen boy at a retreat house in 1973 or 1974.
Two other lawsuits accuse Rose of sexually abusing students in 1966 and 1970 at the same school and another in Minneapolis. From 1963 to 1994, Rose taught in Minnesota, North Dakota and New York. He taught at De La Salle for two years in the early 1980s, said Bob Schwiderski, Minnesota director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, a national advocacy group.
Rose, 76, has not faced criminal charges in connection with the accusations of sexual abuse. He lives at a Christian Brothers residence in Chicago, a block from the De La Salle Institute high school. Reached Friday, he referred questions about the new allegations to superiors, but said, "It's a horrible situation to be accused of something you didn't do."
Brother Francis Carr, provincial of the Brothers of the Christian Schools Midwest District, said he had not seen the lawsuit and that it would be "imprudent to comment." In a statement he said, "We are deeply saddened to learn that another Complaint has been filed stemming from the sexual abuse that occurred in the 1970s, by one of our Members, Brother Raimond Rose."
It said Rose has not been in active ministry since 2002 and has had no contact with minors since then.
The allegations echo those lodged by Robert Fuller, a former student at the Concord high school who won a $1.1 million payout from the Christian Brothers in 2004, part of a $6.3 million settlement the Roman Catholic teaching order reached with three former De La Salle students.
Fuller could not be reached Friday.
In 2005, he told MediaNews that he and four other boys stayed with Rose at a house in South Lake Tahoe, drank beer that Rose bought them, and that Rose had sex with him in the shower.
The next night, Fuller said, Rose sodomized him. A Concord police report cited several students saying Rose took them on trips, plied them with booze and propositioned them.
At least one student told police he saw Rose orally copulating Fuller, but at the time Fuller denied any sexual acts.
School officials told police they confronted Rose, and he "cried and eventually disintegrated and said he was sorry for what he had done "..." They said Rose had been sent back east for alcohol counseling. Police never spoke with him and found insufficient evidence for charges.
In a phone interview in 2005 regarding Fuller, Rose said: "I'm saddened by the whole thing of us, about myself. The word remorse is not strong enough. I'm sorry."
A lawyer for the latest plaintiff, a California man, said a former student told him he went to school officials in 1965 and reported that Rose sexually abused him, backing the claim that Christian Brothers in Minnesota knew Rose was a danger and committed fraud.
"They represented their schools were safe," said the attorney, Patrick Noaker. "They knew this man was not safe."
Rick Simons, a Hayward lawyer who has represented many clergy sexual abuse victims, said he doubts similar fraud claims would work in California.
The Legislature opened a one-year window in 2003 for claims that had been shut out by statutes of limitations, leading to huge payouts by Catholic dioceses and other institutions.
State law allows childhood sex abuse plaintiffs to sue until age 26, or within three years of discovering that psychological injury or illness was caused by the abuse. In some states, a fraud claim may help, said Simons, but here, "the special law "... probably trumps the fraud rule."
Reach John Simerman at 925-943-8072 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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