Abuse Suit against Sisters of Charity Grows Again
Plaintiffs' Claims Date Back to '30s

By Peter Smith
Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY)
August 4, 2004

Three plaintiffs joined a lawsuit against the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth yesterday, alleging sexual abuse by a priest, two nuns and a basketball coach at two former orphanages between the 1930s and 1970s.

They bring to 24 the number of people who have sued the Nelson County-based order in the past month.

The plaintiffs accuse a priest, about a dozen nuns and a volunteer of abuse at orphanages and schools, and allege that the order was negligent in supervising them.

Among the new plaintiffs, Gladys Cambron, 72, alleges that she was sexually abused beginning around age 6 by three people at the former St. Vincent Orphanage for girls in Louisville during the 1930s and 1940s.

The Sisters of Charity owned and operated the orphanage on Payne Street until it was merged with the St. Thomas Orphanage for boys in Anchorage in 1952.

Cambron alleges that the Rev. Herman J. Lammers fondled her and forced her to perform oral sex on him.

Her lawsuit also alleges that a "Mother Superior Stansloskoski" and a "Sister Francis" molested her.

Those names don't match any of the order's nuns, according to Barbara Qualls, spokeswoman for the Sisters of Charity.

Although she provided information about people with similar names, The Courier-Journal chose not to print them .

Lammers, who died in 1986, has been accused by 19 of the plaintiffs. He became director of Catholic Charities and resident chaplain at the St. Thomas orphanage in 1939.

Cecelia Price, spokeswoman for the Archdiocese of Louisville, said Lammers never was assigned to work at St. Vincent when it was separate from St. Thomas.

Qualls said the order has no record of allegations against any of the accused until they were named in a lawsuit.

A second plaintiff, Robert Morley, 57, alleges that a basketball coach named "Mr. Corney" sexually abused him at the St. Thomas-St. Vincent Orphanage in Anchorage in the 1950s. The archdiocese owned the orphanage at the time; it was operated by the Sisters of Charity.

Neither the Sisters of Charity nor the archdiocese has any record of an employee by that name, their spokeswomen said.

A third plaintiff, Wendall Richardson , 38, alleges sexual abuse by Lammers at St. Thomas-St. Vincent in the 1970s.

Attorney William McMurry, who represents 22 of the plaintiffs, filed the latest allegations in a new "master complaint" against the order.

McMurry, who represented 243 plaintiffs in a settlement with the Archdiocese of Louisville last year, first filed suit against the Sisters of Charity on July 15 and had been amending it with new plaintiffs.

Under an agreement with attorneys for the Sisters of Charity, McMurry said he would file any new allegations once a week, adding them to the master complaint. Qualls confirmed the arrangement.

Two other plaintiffs have filed separate lawsuits.


Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.
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