Former Marist High student sues, alleging school knew of abuse by administrator in 70s


October 28, 2020

By Jordyn Brown

A former student is suing Marist Catholic High School in Eugene and the Marist Brothers of the Schools in New York for $3.25 million, alleging an administrator in the 1970s sexually abused him for years.

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in Multnomah Circuit Court in Portland, states that Brother Robert Ryan worked at the private Catholic high school in Eugene as vice principal in the 1970s and used his role to groom and isolate students, sexually abusing them at school and on school trips.

Ryan is memorialized on the Marist High School website, which states that he died in April 2017.

The Marist suit seeks $250,000 in economic damages and $3 million in noneconomic damages, claiming sexual battery of a child, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent infliction of emotional distress, negligence and fraud. It sues both the local private school and the larger nonprofit Marist Brothers of the Schools, which oversaw and staffed the high school at the time until 1994, when the Archdiocese of Portland took over.

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