Oregon's Most Notorious Pedophile Priest - Maurice Grammond - Spurs $12 Million Lawsuit, Even after Death
By Aimee Green
June 25, 2013
|Father Maurice Grammond (undated photo)|
A 43-year-old man who says he was sexually abused by Oregon's most notorious pedophile priest in the early 1980s filed a $12.25 million lawsuit Tuesday against the Archdiocese of Portland.
The man alleges he was abused by former priest Maurice Grammond from 1980 to 1982 at Our Lady of Victory in Seaside -- at least 23 years after church officials began hearing reports that Grammond was molesting children. That included a 1957 report of making boys swim naked with him and "messing" with them.
The man was an altar boy, and 10 to 12 years old when he says Grammond abused him.
"(Grammond) devastated the lives and the souls of dozens of youngsters who loved their church and trusted their priest, and this case is no different," said Portland attorney Kelly Clark, in a news release.
Clark and the man's other attorney, Erin Olson, say that the man supressed the abuse until 2012, when he came to terms with it and the detrimental effects it has had on his life. Oregon law allows victims to sue for childhood abuse up until they reach age 40, or until five years after they realize the abuse has damaged them -- whichever is later.
From 1950 to 1985, Grammond worked in parishes in Seaside, Oakridge, Mill City, Sublimity and the metro area, including Our Lady of Sorrows in Southeast Portland and St. Mary’s Home for Boys in Beaverton.
He molested dozens of boys. By 2007, he’d cost the archdiocese $33.4 million in settlements with 54 victims -- far more than the next costliest priest, Thomas Laughlin, who spurred $20.7 million in settlements with 34 victims.
Grammond died in 2002.
The archdiocese sought bankruptcy protection in 2004 because of its potential liability in priest sex abuse suits, and victims who realized the abuse had negatively affected their lives had until 2005 to file a claim. But the archdiocese also set aside a pot of money to pay for future settlements with victims who realized they were abused after 2005.
The man who filed suit Tuesday -- in U.S. District Court in Portland -- is seeking compensation from that pot of money, which amounts to about $18 million today, said archdiocese spokesman Bud Bunce. As long as there is still money there, the fund will stay untouched by the archdiocese until 2027, at which time the fund will be dissolved and any remaining money will go to the archdiocese.
The man's suit seeks $250,000 for economic damages that he states includes counseling, psychiatric medical treatment and lost wages; $2 million for non-economic damages for his anguish and suffering; and $10 million in punitive damages.