$6.4 million going to Seattle Catholic-school sex-abuse victim

The Seattle Times

Posted by Alexa Vaughn

A man who, as a child, was sexually abused by a Seattle Catholic school official has won a $6.4 million in court, one of the largest such awards in state history.

The jury at King County Courthouse found the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, a worldwide Catholic order of priests, guilty of ignoring the plaintiff’s sex-abuse complaints when he attended St. Benedict School in Seattle’s Wallingford neighborhood.

“The Oblates tried to point the finger at everyone except themselves, but the jury didn’t accept this and rightly held them accountable for their actions,” said Michael Pfau, an attorney for the plaintiff, in a statement. “The evidence was overwhelming that this religious order was more concerned with protecting its reputation and avoiding scandal than doing the right thing and protecting children.”

The plaintiff — identified as “S.O.” — testified that he was abused on a weekly basis between 1961 and 1964 by Daniel Adamson, a former teacher and principal at the school, who was not a member of the clergy. The plaintiff said he asked the Oblate pastor, Father Henry Conrad, twice for help but was ignored.

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