Lawsuit accuses St. Louis Archdiocese of ‘covering up’ sexual abuse of minor

KMOX, 1120AM [St. Louis MO]

February 11, 2022

By Kevin Killeen, KMOX

A civil lawsuit accuses the St. Louis Archdiocese of “covering up” the sexual abuse of minor parishioners by their employee Father Alexander Anderson.

The plaintiff, Christian Hornbeck who now lives in Georgia, claims he was molested during counseling sessions with Anderson at St. Joseph’s Home for Boys on South Grand in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

David Clohessy with the survivor’s group SNAP says despite five accusers coming forward against Anderson, they’re “keeping him on the job.” Anderson now works at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church in DeSoto, Missouri.

A statement from the Archdiocese says that is “demonstrably false, as Fr. Anderson was not assigned to St. Joseph Home during the time.”

Clohessy says the Archdiocese needs to suspend him and begin an investigation.

“Not only is Father Anderson on the job today, in a parish, around kids, despite five accusers. He’s never been suspended for even a week,” Clohessy says.

The Archdiocese’s statement also says previous allegations of sexual misconduct against Anderson were either retracted or determined to be false by an “independent, third-part investigation.”

When reached by phone, Anderson deferred all comment to the Archdiocese.

Here’s the full statement from the Archdiocese:

Previous claims against Fr. Anderson brought to the archdiocese have either been retracted by the claimant or, after independent third-party investigation, been determined to be false accusations. One such claimant has maintained his allegations from prison where he is incarcerated for financial fraud.

This most recent claim is demonstrably false, as Fr. Anderson was not assigned to St. Joseph Home during the time the claimant was a resident.

We encourage all individuals who allege to have been sexually abused by anyone to report their allegations to law enforcement and the Archdiocese Office of Child and Youth Protection. Any such allegation is promptly reported to law enforcement by the archdiocese upon receipt. Additionally, if the claimant wishes to cooperate in an investigation, the archdiocese engages former federal law enforcement officers to independently review all such claims.