Brothers Sue Portland Archdiocese for $6 Million Claiming Sexual Abuse by Priests
By Everton Bailey
February 1, 2017
|Two adult brothers are suing the Archdiocese of Portland for $3 million each claiming they were sexually abused repeatedly by two priests on the Oregon coast when they were children in the 1960s. (File photo)|
Two brothers sued the Archdiocese of Portland on Wednesday for $6 million claiming two priests sexually abused them repeatedly as children in the 1960s after preying on them while their stepfather was suffering from leukemia.
The brothers accuse the Rev. James Harris, then a priest in Silverton, and the Rev. Maurice Grammond, then a priest in Seaside, of touching their bodies and genitals over and under their clothing during overnight trips to the Oregon coast.
Harris also forced the younger sibling to touch him, according to one suit.
The older brother, now 60 and living in Marion County, was abused from ages of 9 to 13, and his younger brother, now 59 and living in Washington's Kitsap County, was 11 and 12, the lawsuits say.
Harris died in 1999 and Grammond died in 2002. The two priests have been the subject of lawsuits against the archdiocese for sexually abusing dozens of children.
Grammond, considered Oregon's most notorious pedophile priest, had cost the archdiocese $33.4 million in settlements with 54 victims by 2007.
By that same year, Harris had been named in at least six other sex abuse claims. At least four of them have been settled since 2006, Gilion Dumas, a lawyer for the brothers, said in a news release.
The archdiocese is looking into the allegations, said spokesman David Renshaw.
"As with previous allegations, we take these very seriously and will cooperate in whatever ways are required by law," he said in a statement.
The brothers claim Harris befriended their family while they were living in Silverton and attending St. Paul Parish, the lawsuits said.
Harris took the brothers and one of their friends on trips to the coast while their stepfather was suffering from leukemia, the suits said. They met up with Grammond there. At times, the boys were taken on the trips individually.
The two priests sexually abused the brothers and their friend during the trips, the lawsuits said.
The brothers are seeking jury trials and $3 million each in damages.