Abuse Suits Name Oregon Nuns

Catholic Sentinel
August 9, 2007

Oregon — Two nuns are being named in Oregon lawsuits claiming child sexual abuse in the 1950s and 60s.

The cases included the first new abuse claims against the Archdiocese of Portland since the April resolution of a bankruptcy that lasted almost three years, prompted by large demands for punitive damages.

One suit alleges that a teacher at the Madeline School in Portland, Sister Patricia Mary Anne, sexually abused a boy repeatedly in the mid-1960s.

Two accusers say Sister Genevieve Marie, a teacher at St. James School in McMinnville, was physically and mentally cruel to them in the 1950s. Named as a co-defendant with the archdiocese are the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia.

Another claimant names a janitor, identified only as "Carl," for alleged abuse at All Saints School in Portland in the early 1980s. All of the accusers are using assumed names, John Doe and Jane Doe.

Other alleged abusers in the suits are Thomas Laughlin, a former priest who has been the subject of 34 claims that took almost $21 million to settle, and the late Father James Harris, previously named in seven claims. The Father Harris suit says the abuse took place at St. Joseph Parish and School in Salem in the early 1950s.

The suits combine to seek almost $17 million. That would use up much of the $20 million set aside during the bankruptcy for future claims through April 2030.


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