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  Two More Men Allege Abuse at Maclaren

By Ashbel S. Green
The Oregonian
April 13, 2004

Summary: The lawsuit is the second alleging abuse in the 1970s by a priest at the youth correctional facility

Two men have filed a lawsuit claiming they were molested while in custody in the MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

The suit, which seeks nearly $22 million in damages, names the Rev. Remy Rudin, who died in 1991.

It is the second time a priest at MacLaren in the 1970s has been accused of molesting youths in custody there. Last year, 11 men filed suit accusing the Rev. Michael Sprauer of molesting them in the 1970s at MacLaren.

Sprauer, who has been a priest in the Portland Archdiocese since 1972, was a chaplain with the Oregon Department of Corrections for 25 years. Sprauer denies the accusations. He was serving in St. Joseph Catholic Church in Salem when the suit was filed and has since been put on administrative leave.

The latest suit was filed by two men using the initials K.N. and G.M.

K.N. claims he went to MacLaren in 1969 when he was 16. Rudin molested him within two weeks of his arrival, the suit claims.

G.M. said he went to MacLaren in 1968 when he was 13. Within two weeks, Rudin molested him and continued to do so through 1973, the suit claims. G.M. also claims that he told MacLaren employees but that they refused to help. G.M. said he told yet another employee, who molested him.

Erin K. Olson, the Portland attorney representing the plaintiffs, said MacLaren was so bad in the 1970s that it was the subject of a class-action lawsuit seeking to improve conditions.

"It was a breeding ground for the kind of abuse that happened to both K.N. and G.N.," Olson said.

Olson declined to give details of her clients' lives since MacLaren.

"They have experienced great, great difficulty in recovering from what happened to them at MacLaren," she said.

Rudin first appeared in Oregon in 1962 at Aumsville, where he worked until about 1968, when he went to MacLaren, Olson said. In about 1973, he went to Ascension Church in Portland. He left Portland for Arizona in 1979, Olson said.

The suit names the Portland Archdiocese; the Franciscan Friars, the religious order to which Rudin belonged; and the state of Oregon, which runs MacLaren.

The administrative office of the Portland Archdiocese was closed Monday, and a spokesman was unavailable for comment. A spokesman for the Oregon Department of Justice said he could not comment on pending litigation.

The Portland Archdiocese has spent about $53 million to settle with 133 people who accuse priests in Oregon of molesting them in the past 50 years. It is one of the largest settlement figures of any diocese in the country.

The amount does not include settlements made by various religious orders that have been named as co-defendants in lawsuits against the Portland Archdiocese, which covers the part of Oregon west of the Cascade Mountains.

Lawsuits involving about 50 accusers remain unresolved. Also unresolved are lawsuits involving more than 20 accusers against priests in the Baker Diocese, which is east of the Cascades.

 
 

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