Catholic Diocese Settles Suit over Abuse Allegations

By Marilyn Tennissen
The Southeast Texas Record
January 7, 2014

The Catholic Diocese of Beaumont recently settled a civil suit alleging a priest abused young boys for 30 years.

The suit was filed April 12, 2012, against the diocese and Bishop Curtis Guillory. It alleges the Rev. Ronald Bollich abused six boys in at least three parishes over three decades.

Guillory and the diocese were accused of negligence for keeping Bollich on staff when it “knew or should have known he had a propensity to molest boys,” the suit states.

The details of the settlement, reached Dec. 11, are not disclosed.

Bollich was a priest from 1964 until his death in April 1996. He worked parishes in Jefferson County, Orange County and Nacogdoches County, according to the final petition in the case, filed Nov. 15, 2013. His duties took him to churches in Beaumont, Bridge City, Port Arthur, Groves, Silsbee, Buna, Moral, Nacogdoches and Chireno, the petition reads.

Five of the alleged victims were parishioners in Nacogdoches and one was a parishioner in Bridge City.

The suit claimed the victims, who were all minors at the time of the alleged abuse, were “immature and unsophisticated” and some had learning disabilities. One has claimed the trauma of the abuse has caused him to suffer mental problems so severe that he has been declared disabled.

The suit claimed the church “continued to promote and assign Bollich, even after receiving multiple reports and warning over several decades … about his sexual misconduct” and “conspired with (him) and others, including health care professionals and others known and unknown at this time to plaintiffs to conceal his abuse of minors.”

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