Summary of Case: Michael Toulouse was ordained in the late 1930s or early 1940s as a priest of the Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus. Province officials stated concerns about Toulouse as early as 1938, writing “he does not seem to understand the meaning of obedience.” Toulouse taught for six years at Gonzaga High School while living at St. Aloysius Church on the campus of Seattle University. That stint ended in late 1950 after a 14-year-old altar boy told his father that Toulouse had been sexually abusing him. The boy’s father went looking for the priest with his handgun, but was stopped by another Jesuit. (Reportedly, Toulouse would have his altar boys awaken him at the rectory before mass, then sexually assault them; he would then give them money in exchange for their silence.) The Jesuits responded by transferring Toulouse to Seattle University, despite objections of Seattle U. officials. There he worked as a philosophy professor and spiritual counselor until his death in 1976. In the 2000s Toulouse was the subject of a number of lawsuits, as men came forward to report their abuse by him as children. By 2006 at least a dozen victims were identified. Documents show that the Jesuits were aware throughout Toulouse’s career that he was a danger to children. The earliest known accusation is from 1947. In Seattle Toulouse is said to have ingratiated himself to the parents of boys in the various parishes where he was assisting, which allowed him the access to groom and sexually abuse the boys. In 2006 Seattle University’s president stated that he had “no doubt” that Toulouse molested young boys.
Died: June 13, 1976
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