Two Suits Claiming Church Abuse Filed

The Associated Press, carried in KTVA [Alaska]
September 22, 2006

Two lawsuits claiming child sexual abuse by Catholic officials were filed Thursday. Three women accuse Brother Ignatius J. Jakes of abusing them when they were young girls in the village of Holy Cross in the 1980s. A second suit, filed by two men, claims abuse by Father Norman E. Donohue between 1967, and 1973, in Nulato.

Both Jakes and Donohue are dead.

Each of the five claimants are seeking more than 100,000 dollars in damages from the organizations that oversaw the priests, including the Fairbanks Diocese and the Society of Jesus in Alaska and Oregon.

The plaintiffs' attorney is Ken Roosa. He and his law partners say they now represent more than 100 victims. They claim abuse by 12 church employees, and volunteers, primarily priests.

Robert Hannon of the Fairbanks Diocese says Bishop Donald Kettler is committed to healing. However, he says since the courts are involved, that somewhat limits the diocese's response until the cases resolved. But he says Kettler, "genuinely wants to see some sort of process in place,whatever happens, so that people can move forward with their lives and hopefully regain trust in the church."


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