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  Gatti Represents Four in Sexual-Abuse Suits

Statesman Journal [Salem OR]
May 13, 2002

Salem lawyer Dan Gatti represents four men in multimillion-dollar lawsuits alleging sexual abuse by area priests. To read full stories about the suits, see links in this story at StatesmanJournal.com. Here is a summary of the suits:

On April 25, Andrew Fletcher, 40, a computer industry employee in Portland, alleged that the Rev. Kenneth Jacques repeatedly molested him during a two-week trip to San Francisco during summer 1978.

Fletcher was a 16-year-old student at Mount Angel Preparatory School when the alleged fondling incidents occurred. Jacques served at the prep school from 1975 through 1979, records show. The school closed in 1979.

After the lawsuit was filed, Jacques was removed from his pastoral duties at Sacred Heart Parish in Gervais. His duties now are restricted to the Mount Angel Abbey, officials there said.

On May 1, a second man, not identified in court papers, alleged that Jacques molested him during a trip to Klamath Falls in spring 1978. The plaintiff was a student at Mount Angel Preparatory School when the alleged abuse occurred, Gatti said.

Also on May 1, another anonymous plaintiff alleged that two priests sexually preyed on him in the 1950s, forcing him to have oral sex with them and watch as they engaged in group sex with several other boys. The attacks reportedly began in 1956, when the boy was 12 or 13.

The lawsuit accused the Rev. Martin Doherty and a clergyman identified as "Friar Raleigh" of sexual battery. Doherty was parish priest in Gervais and Raleigh was a priest at the Oregon City parish when the alleged sexual abuse occurred.

Doherty died in 1973, according to the Archdiocese of Portland. Raleigh died in 1979.

On May 2, Thomas Heidt, 43, of Vancouver, Wash., alleged that he was molested during summer 1976 by a Mount Angel Abbey priest identified as "Father Pacome." Heidt, then 17 and approaching his senior year at the Mount Angel Preparatory High School, claims that the abuse occurred during a camping trip with his spiritual mentor.

"Father Pacome" was the religious name adopted by a monk who lived at Mount Angel Abbey for a short time during the mid-1970s, according to archdiocese records. He subsequently was assigned to duties in the Eastern Oregon town of Elgin. As of Friday, the archdiocese had not determined whether "Father Pacome" is still alive.

 
 

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