|Denver Man Files Suit against Catholic Religious Order
By Kirk Mitchell
The Denver Post
April 22, 2010
A 49-year-old Denver man has filed a lawsuit against a Catholic religious order claiming a priest molested him repeatedly while he attended a seminary in Denver in 1976.
The man, identified as John Doe in the suit filed in Denver County District Court Tuesday, said that he was sexually abused by Father Mark Matson, who was the rector of St. Andrew's Seminary.
The suit filed by Florida attorneys Alan Molk and Adam Horowitz, names The Theatine Fathers, a religious order formed in Colorado, as a defendant.
Calls Wednesday to The Theatine Fathers order were referred to Father Lorenzo Uribe, who didn't answer his phone and had no way to leave a message.
The man met Matson on a visit to St. Andrew's Seminary as a prospective student in 1976, according to a news release by the attorneys.
He stayed in the student dorms and Matson fondled him during the night, according to the suit. When the boy later enrolled at St. Andrew's as a ninth grader, Matson continued to abuse the boy throughout the school year. Eventually, Matson raped the man while he was unconscious, the suit says.
When the student tried to confront Matson about the incident, Matson expelled him, claiming to have found marijuana in Doe's personal belongings, the lawsuit says.
Horowitz said the man did not complain to police about Matson at the time. He has not filed a complaint now, because he believes the statute of limitations for criminal prosecution has expired.
Matson was previously accused of molesting boys in Colorado, California and Hawaii.
He was convicted of sexually abusing a 13-year-old boy in 2000, while working in Hawaii, where he is now in prison.
The alleged victim is seeking more than $1 million in compensation, according to the lawsuit.
Matson's status as a priest is unknown. He was ordained a priest in 1976 after serving as a Brother in the Order.
"Father Matson is a convicted sex offender," Horowitz said. "He was placed in a position of authority with young boys after church officials knew of his dangerous sexual behavior. Tragically, Father Matson left a trail of child victims across the country when church officials could have prevented them from being hurt."
Kirk Mitchell: 303-954-1206 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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