|New Child Sex Abuse Lawsuit Filed against Manchester Diocese and Oblates
Mermestein & Horowitz
May 18, 2010
PRIEST WAS FIRST NAMED PUBLICLY IN MARCH 2009 ATTORNEY GENERAL REPORT
HE HAS BEEN THE SUBJECT OF MULTIPLE SEXUAL ABUSE ALLEGATIONS
A clergy sex abuse survivor and his attorney will announce the filing of a new lawsuit against the Manchester Catholic Diocese alleging the sexual abuse of a child by an Oblate priest, Fr. George St. Jean, at the Order’s Shrine of Our Lady of Grace and a parish of the Diocese of Manchester. Childhood photos of the victim and photos of the priest will be available.
11:30a.m. TUESDAY, MAY 18 at the Hillsborough North Courthouse (30 Spring St., Nashua)
The Plaintiff in the lawsuit, John Labbe, and his attorney, Jessica Arbour, will appear at the press conference and will speak about the lawsuit.
On Tuesday morning, John Labbe will file a new clergy sexual abuse lawsuit against the Diocese of Manchester and the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate Catholic religious order. The lawsuit alleges that he was sexually abused by Fr. George St. Jean, an Oblate priest working in the Manchester diocese, between 1965 and 1969. The abuse occurred at the Oblates’ Shrine of Our Lady of Grace and at St. Brendan’s parish in Colebrook, NH. St. Jean repeatedly told Labbe that he was doing “God’s will” and made threats of secrecy. `
St. Jean was one of 27 priests who worked in the Manchester Diocese named publicly for the first time in March 2009 when the New Hampshire Attorney General released the results of a comprehensive audit of the Diocese’s files. St. Jean had been the subject of multiple allegations of abuse. The Diocese agreed to the audit in exchange for immunity from criminal prosecution for failure to report sexual abuse allegations against priests.
The lawsuit will be filed in Hillsborough North Circuit Court early Tuesday morning. Copies of the lawsuit and other documents pertaining to St. Jean, including his assignment history, will be available.
Labbe is 53 years old. He is married and lives in Grafton County, New Hampshire.
Labbe’s attorney, Jessica Arbour, of the Miami law firm Mermelstein & Horowitz, said, “I want to commend John for his strength and courage in breaking the bond that silence and shame have held on him for nearly his entire life. It is time now for the Diocese of Manchester and the Oblates to be held accountable and for John to have a chance to move forward in his own healing.”
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