O'dea High School Principal Resigns Amid Allegations of Sexual Abuse in the 1970s
By Hana Kim
October 31, 2012
The principal of Seattle's O'Dea High School resigned his position Wednesday amid allegations that he sexually abused children in the early 1970s in Illinois, the Archdiocese of Seattle reported.
Karl Walczak is accused of sexually abusing a minor when he worked as a teacher in another diocese in the early 1970s. According to a statement released by the Archdiocese of Seattle, Walczak denies the allegations, but resigned his position.
Vice Principal Jim Walker was named acting principal.
A letter released by the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) claimed O'Dea officials and Seattle Archdiocese knew about the sex abuse allegations for more than two months, but decided to keep the issue quiet.
According to John Shuster, SNAP's Seattle leader, Walczak was named as an accused predator in August, but officials "clammed up" instead of warning parents and students.
"When church officials keep quiet about abuse, children and their families are the ones who lose," Shuster said in a statement.
According to Shuster, a letter sent from O'Dea 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 New York courts.
Walczak is alleged to have abused the child in Burbank, Ill.
The Christian Brothers have sought bankruptcy protection in light of more than 200 allegations of sexual abuse at their schools.