Religious Order Named in Abuse Suit

Associated Press State & Local Wire
May 13, 2003

A religious order that sponsors St. Xavier High School was sued Tuesday by a woman who claims that a teacher sexually molested her decades ago in a park near the school.

In her suit, Donna Wiest Goatley claims she was molested several times by a teacher identified only as Brother "Ernin."

A statement from the Xaverian Brothers says Brother Ernan Bradunas, who died in 1985, was on the St. Xavier faculty from 1951-1961.

The suit, filed in Jefferson County Circuit Court, names the Xaverian Brothers USA Inc. as the sole defendant. It seeks unspecified damages.

At the time of the alleged abuse, the Xaverian Brothers ran St. Xavier.

In the statement Tuesday, the Xaverian Brothers denied knowledge of any abuse.

"The Xaverian Brothers have no record of any such incident, nor any other allegations against the late Brother Ernan," the statement said. "We will, however, cooperate with whatever court proceedings ensue."

A separate lawsuit filed Tuesday against the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Louisville accused a retired priest of groping and kissing a 15-year-old girl at a Christmas party in 1990.

The plaintiff, Charlene Moyers, also accused the Rev. Louis E. Miller of trying to pour whiskey into her cup of eggnog.

More than 200 lawsuits have been filed against the archdiocese in the last 13 months. A handful of suits have been settled.

The suit claims that the Xaverians knew about the teacher's alleged abuse of children but failed to report him to law enforcement.

The Xaverian Brothers is a religious order with many ministries, including Catholic education. St. Xavier High School is a private, all-male Catholic school.

Moyers accused the archdiocese of concealing Miller's alleged behavior from law enforcement authorities. Her suit said the archdiocese took no disciplinary action against Miller. Moyers seeks unspecified damages.

Miller was not named as a defendant. He has been accused of abuse in more than 90 civil suits and has pleaded guilty to 50 criminal counts of sexual abuse involving 21 children.

An archdiocesan spokeswoman declined comment on the latest suit.


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