Former Honolulu High School Principal Accused of Sex Abuse in Legal Claim
October 31, 2012
At least five other school employees have been accused, Seattle school officials quietly removed cleric in August, Religious order filed bankruptcy after more than 200 victims came forward, Now, more than 400 say they were abused by Christian Brothers, At least 12 came from Damien Memorial School.
A man who says he was sexually abused by the former principal of a Honolulu high school has filed a sex abuse and cover-up claim in the New York courts.
The suit charges that the victim, known as John Doe, was sexually abused by Damien Memorial School former principal Br. Karl Walczak in 1971 at Brother Rice High School in Chicago. At the time, Walczak was a teacher at the school.
Walczak is a member of the Irish Christian Brothers, a New York State-based religious order that runs Brother Rice High School and more than a dozen other schools across the country. Walczak was principal at Damien Memorial School from 1987 to 1999.
Walczak is currently the principal of O’Dea High School in Seattle
He was quietly put on leave in August when the lawsuit was filed. In a letter to parents, school officials said that Walczak was “fighting a claim” in the Christian Brothers bankruptcy, but refused to state that he had been accused of sexual abuse in the New York courts.
Members of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPNetwork.org), were appalled to learn that the Christian Brothers had keep quiet about the allegation.
“Parents and students in Hawaii have been duped yet again,” said Joelle Casteix of Newport Beach, California, SNAP Western Regional Director. “A brave victim has come forward to the courts to expose the man who abused him. Yet, the Christian Brothers have—at every turn—kept quiet about allegations, misled parents and put more kids at risk because they refuse to come clean about predators in their employ.”
In light of this latest allegation, the groups wants Damien Memorial and diocese officials officials to immediately alert parents, students and alumni about the allegations. “There may be a victim suffering at the school right now,” Casteix said. “Victims need to know that it is safe to come forward and report abuse, because that is the only way to put predators behind bars.”
More than 12 victims from Damien High School have come forward and filed claims. In addition, at least five other known, admitted or arrested predators who worked at the school have been exposed.
Last year, the Irish Christian Brothers declared bankruptcy in light of more than 50 child sex abuse lawsuits in the United States and more than 200 in Canada.
The order has also been rocked by sex abuse scandals in Ireland.
In January, the New York Bankruptcy Court set a “bar date” of August 1, 2012, for all victims of Irish Brother predators to expose their abusers in court. More than 400 victims have come forward and filed claims.
According to O’Dea High School. Walczak is currently living in New York. He has also worked in schools in Illinois and California.
The attorney for John Doe is Mike Reck of New York, (714) 742-6593, firstname.lastname@example.org.