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  Four More Say They Were Abused by Priests
Lawsuit: Three Men, One Woman Bring Number of Plaintiffs to 10

By Lisa Demer
Anchorage Daily News
August 17, 2005

Three more men and a woman say they were sexually abused as children by Catholic priests in Western Alaska, joining a lawsuit filed in December in Bethel that accuses the Revs. Francis X. Nawn and Segundo Llorente of abuse.

Both men spent years as priests in rural Alaska and are deceased. Llorente also served a term in the Alaska Legislature.

The plaintiffs aren't named. The new ones, added Tuesday, are called only Jack Doe 7, 8 and 9, and Jackie Doe 1.

One man remembered attending Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Scammon Bay in 1971 and 1972 when he was age 5 to 7. Nawn sexually abused him when he was a first-grader and then gave him hard candy as a treat, the suit filed by Anchorage attorney Ken Roosa said.

Another said Nawn fondled him during the time he attended St. Peter's Church in Sheldon Point, now known as Nunam Iqua, in the summer of 1963 or 1964 when he was 4 or 5 and later when he was 10 to 16, according to the suit.

The other man alleges Llorente sexually abused him many times between 1956 and 1963, when he was age 4 to 11 and attended St. Peter's Church.

Jackie Doe accuses Nawn of fondling her, making her touch him and taking nude pictures of her and other girls in Sheldon Point between 1968 and 1971, when she was 6 to 9 years old.

The suit now includes nine men and a woman accusing the Catholic Diocese of Fairbanks; the Society of Jesus, Oregon Province; and the Society of Jesus, Alaska of enabling and hiding the sexual abuse, failing to manage the priests, moving them from parish to parish, and destroying records.

Overall, the Fairbanks diocese has been battered with lawsuits involving more than 70 victims in Western Alaska. It is struggling to investigate reports of abuse from decades ago and is concerned about its ability to cover claims for financial damages with so many reported victims, said Ronnie Rosenberg, human resources director for the diocese.

There's no evidence the diocese knew at the time that priests were abusing children, or that important records were destroyed, she said.

A case currently before the Alaska Supreme Court should clarify whether the events happened too long ago for legal action against the diocese, she said.

Still, it's heart-breaking to hear one round of accusations after another, she said. Church leaders want to help victims, she has said.

The Rev. Segundo Llorente, deceased, is accused of sexually abusing a child when he was a priest in Sheldon Point, now called Nunam Iqua. Llorente also served a term in the Alaska Legislature.

 
 

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