Upper W. Side School Sued in Molest Case

By Nick Divito and Owen Moritz
New York Daily News
February 6, 2006

A defrocked priest who fled charges that he molested a student at a tony Manhattan school, the headmaster who hired him and the school itself were slapped with a lawsuit in Brooklyn Supreme Court.

The suit, filed by an attorney for the boy's parents, charges the Robert Louis Stevenson School on W. 74th St. with negligence and reckless disregard in hiring and failing to supervise Bruce Jacques, 57.

The suit charges that the school hired Jacques as a development director and fund-raiser without investigating his background, which included dismissal as a priest by the Episcopal Church in New Milford, Conn., seven years ago for allegedly propositioning a 13-year-old boy.

"We're still shocked," school headmaster Bud Henrichsen said Thursday. "We have been working with the district attorney's office" to locate the missing Jacques.

The suit charges one molestation took place in the school bathroom and a second during an outing in Central Park.

Jacques vanished after admitting to Henrichsen last Oct. 20 that he had a "sexual encounter" with the boy, described in the lawsuit as younger than 18.

One of Jacques' two children, Aaron Jacques, 25, told the Daily News in October: "I'd love to see him get caught."

Aaron Jacques said his father walked out of their Connecticut home in 2002, leaving behind only a note to feed the dog.

"If he really did what they say he did, that would make my day," he added.

According to the suit, the Stevenson student was "sexually assaulted, sodomized, abused, assaulted and battered" in the two incidents last October.

The ordeal left the student "sick, sore, lame and disabled" and he had to undergo hospital and medical treatment, according to the suit.

Named in the suit were Stevenson, a private institution for kids with emotional and learning problems; Henrichsen; Jacques, and Eli Alam, a counselor at the school.


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