Woman alleges she was abused by three priests at St. Joseph in ’70s

Yakima Herald Republic

By Jane Gargas
Yakima Herald-Republic

YAKIMA, Wash. — A woman has started a lawsuit in Superior Court here against the Catholic Diocese of Yakima, alleging that she was sexually abused by three Jesuit priests during the 1970s.

Michelle Duerre, who lives in King County, asked that her name be made public in her suit against the diocese. Now 44, Duerre alleges that the Revs. Frank Duffy, John Morse and James Poole abused her when she was between the ages of 8 and12 and a student at St. Joseph/Marquette School.

She says in court documents that Morse and Duffy abused her at the school and in the church rectory and that Poole abused her at the St. Peter the Apostle retreat house in Cowiche.

Monsignor Robert Siler, diocese chief of staff, said that Duerre had not previously contacted the diocese about the alleged abuse. “We’re sorry for any abuse this woman may have suffered,” Siler said.

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