Two Jesuits Named in Sexual Abuse Suit

The Associated Press, carried in Juneau Empire
September 24, 2006

Fairbanks - Two sexual abuse civil suits involving deceased Jesuits were filed this week in Alaska Superior Courts in Fairbanks and Bethel.

In Fairbanks, the Reverend Norman Donohue, who died in 1983, is accused of sexually abusing male children when he was a pastor in Kaltag and Nulato.

In Bethel, three women filed suit saying they were sexually abused as children by Jesuit brother Ignatius Jakes, an Inupiat Eskimo. Jakes died in 1999.

The latest complaints bring the number of individuals named in similar suits against the Fairbanks diocese and the Society of Jesus Alaska and Oregon Province to 14, according to the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.

"We pray for people who have been affected in this way. It is always a tragedy to hear of these incidents, said Ronnie Rosenberg, human resource director for the Fairbanks diocese.

Rosenberg said the diocese is combing its files on Jakes or Donohue for any past evidence of abuse complaints.

The two complainants in Donohue's case said they were altar boys at Our Lady of the Snows Catholic Church in Nulato when Donohue was pastor.

The first man alleged that he was between 6 and 9 years old, in 1970 through 1973, when the molestation occurred. He said Donohue invited several boys to his living quarters, where he would fondle and perform oral sex on them and required them to do the same to him.

The second complainant, who said he was 5 through 8 years old at the time, gave a similar description.

Donohue's spent 42 years in Alaska primarily among Yup'ik Eskimos along the Bering Sea. He spent six years in Bethel when he was general superior for all Jesuits in the state and served another six years in the Interior between 1967 and 1974. He was pastor in Kaltag and Nulato.

The lawsuit filed against Jakes alleged the Jesuit brother sexually assaulted one woman four times when she was a child between 1983 and 1986. Two other women of a similar age during the same period also alleged molestation by Jakes. The alleged abuse took place in St. Mary's where Jakes was stationed for 23 years.


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