Universal Hub [Boston MA]
August 26, 2022
By Adam Gaffin
A former student at Arlington Catholic High School yesterday sued two former priests in the Archdiocese of Boston – and a third, as yet unidentified priest – whom he blames in part for the times he says the school’s then vice principal came into the room where he was serving detention and molested him.
The suit was filed in Suffolk Superior Court yesterday by attorney Mitchell Garabedian, who has spent much of the last 20 years in litigation over molesting priests both in the Archdiocese of Boston and elsewhere.
Although the suit describes what the vice principal did, it does not name him as a defendant. Named are Richard Joseph Malone, who served as secretary of education and vicar general for the Boston archdiocese at the time, and William Murphy, who also served as vicar general, moderator of the curia and auxiliary bishop. “Defendant Three” is another Archdiocese official allegedly involved in hiring the vice principal. Garabedian said he made “a strategic decision” not to name the vice principal as a defendant “at this time.”
Malone left Boston to become bishop of the Diocese of Buffalo, NY, a post from which he retired in 2019. Murphy left Boston to become bishop of the diocese of Rockville Centre, NY, a post from which he retired in 2017.
According to the suit, at issue is what the vice principal allegedly did between 1999 and 2001, when Kevin Doherty, who now lives in Allston, attended Arlington Catholic.
Starting in 1999, when Doherty was 16, he received detention on “multiple occasions,” according to his suit. The vice principal, in charge of detention, would come in and “force Plaintiff to wrestle with him” on several occasions, all of which ended, the suit alleges, with the man rubbing his erect penis on Doherty. The suit charges that on at least four occasions, the man took out Doherty’s penis and sucked it – and that there might be additional instances and other actions that Doherty had managed to block from his memory.
Doherty says that because of what happened, “he has suffered, and will continue to suffer in the future severe emotional distress and physical harm manifested by objective symptomatology, including, but not limited to, anxiety; depression; anger; and sleep problems.”
The suit says the three priests were in charge of “hiring, retention, direction, and supervision of administrators at Arlington Catholic, where those administrators would be directing, supervising, disciplining, and otherwise interacting with students, including minor children” and that they failed “their duty of care” to ensure school administrators treated students decently and that they “knew or should have known” that the man “was of bad character and reputation and unfit to properly interact with students, including minor children,” in particular, Doherty.
The man eventually became principal of the school. In 2016, he was placed on administrative leave for an unspecified incident possibly involving a student in detention.
“We have no reason to believe at this time it involves allegations of sexual abuse,” his successor as principal said at the time.