Ri Man Claims He Was Sexually Abused by Catholic Brother

November 22, 2011

[with video]

James Meunier, 70, of Pawtucket says he was molested by a Catholic brother while he was a student at Sacred Heart Boarding School.

Meunier says he tried telling a supervisor at the time, but his effort was met with resistance.

"They told me they would disown me," Meunier recalled. "That I would go to hell."

He claims that is why he repressed the memories that came rushing back over 50 years after he claims the abuse happened. He has filed a lawsuit against the late Brother Regis, also known as Raymond Richard, who he says molested him in the shower as a seventh grader.

"Where was the plaintiff?" Ken Schreiber, a lawyer not involved in the case asked. "It's been 55 years since this happened. Surely there's a statute of limitations in effect."

Schreiber says Meunier could get around the statute of limitations by arguing that he just remembered the abuse, but it does not fix the fact that everyone else involved in the case is dead.

"They could say we cannot put out a proper defense, and we have a right to that," Schreiber added. "Based on that reason, the case could get dismissed."

Calls to the archdiocese, the Brothers of the Sacred Heart and the lawyer representing them have not been returned. Meunier says he wants the order to provide him with counseling and support.

Both Schreiber and the lawyer representing Meunier say ever since the sexual abuse scandal at Penn State, they have seen a rise in people coming forward claiming they have been abused.

"It just makes it really tough," Meunier said. "It triggers all of the memories."

The school, then located in Sharon, Mass., closed in the 1970s.


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