Men allege abuse, sue religious order in Cook court

Chicago Tribune

By Manya A. Brachear, Chicago Tribune reporter
10:22 p.m. CDT, April 29, 2013

Unable to get restitution in federal bankruptcy court, 31 Chicago-area men have filed a lawsuit in Cook County Circuit Court, accusing the Congregation of Christian Brothers of putting them in harm’s way decades ago.

In three lawsuits filed Friday, plaintiffs accuse the religious order of allowing teachers to abuse them decades ago at Brother Rice, Leo and St. Laurence high schools.

More than half of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit claim they were sexually abused by a member of the order who was later convicted in Washington state of indecent behavior. According to the lawsuit, the religious order knowingly shuffled that brother to each of the three schools because of the allegations against him. One principal recommended the accused brother to a public school system in Washington.

Of the 15 men who allege abuse at Leo High School, a dozen claim they were sexually abused between 1969 and 1973 by the brother. Of nine men at St. Laurence High School between 1961 and 1996, three point to the brother. Of eight men who filed claims against Brother Rice for allegations between 1962 and 1984, one accuses the brother.

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