New Lawsuit Alleging Abuse by Notorious Pedophilic Priest Filed against Archdiocese of Portland
By Helen Jung
April 22, 2014
|Father Maurice Grammond (undated photo)|
A 52-year-old Oregon man is suing the Archdiocese of Portland, saying he was one of a dozens of boys that former pedophilic priest Maurice Grammond sexually abused in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Portland, alleges that while Grammond was assigned to Our Lady of Victory in Seaside, he molested the plaintiff, who was between 7 and 12 years old at the time. The plaintiff, who filed the complaint under the pseudonym Mark Roe, suppressed the memories of the sex abuse and did not realize its connection with his depression, anxiety and substance abuse until fall 2013, the lawsuit states.
The complaint seeks $2 million in pain and suffering and unspecified punitive damages from the archdiocese for sexual battery of a child, intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligence. The archdiocese knew of several reports by families that Grammond had sexually abused boys but failed to take any action to protect children from Grammond, the complaint alleges.
In a statement, the archdiocese said, “The protection of children is vitally important to the Archdiocese of Portland. We continue to work to ensure a safe environment at all of our parishes and schools. We are saddened to hear of these allegations from 40 years ago in Seaside. We will consider this lawsuit carefully, and we will work for a just resolution of the claim.”
The case is one of dozens filed over the years against the archdiocese alleging sex abuse by its priests. But no Oregon priest has triggered more claims than Grammond, who, for 35 years, 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.
By 2007, the archdiocese had paid more than $33.4 million to 54 victims to settle sex-abuse lawsuits related to Grammond.
As part of a 2007 reorganization after the onslaught of sex-abuse suits forced the archdiocese into bankruptcy, the archdiocese set aside $20 million to pay claims of abuse victims who had not yet come forward. About $5.5 million has been paid from that fund since then, said Bud Bunce, spokesman for the archdiocese.