Stl Priest Sex Abuse Case Settled

Associated Press, carried in St. Louis Post-Dispatch
February 20, 2008

ST. LOUIS — A Roman Catholic religious order based in St. Louis has settled with a man over claims he was abused a decade ago by a priest at his private school in the 1990s.

The Rev. Daniel Triulzi, who was on staff at Chaminade College Preparatory School in St. Louis County at the time, is not serving as a priest or in a capacity that would put him near young people, said Diane Guerra, spokeswoman for the religious order, the Marianists.

He is living in St. Louis in a community of Marianist brothers, she said.

The civil lawsuit, filed in August 2005 by a man who is now 26 and living outside Missouri, alleged that Triulzi sexually assaulted him when he was a teenager, plying him with a car and trips.

The suit was mediated last summer and a settlement with an undisclosed financial sum was finalized last fall, prompting a dismissal of the lawsuit in September.

Ken Chackes, attorney for the plaintiff, identified only as "John Doe PJ," said the man "has suffered greatly from the abuse and was unsure about publicizing the settlement until now."

SNAP — an advocacy group for victims of clergy abuse — said the Marianists agreed to several reforms designed to prevent future abuse. Among them, the religious order agreed to an audit of their schools for abuse policies and procedures, to turn over child abuse reports to authorities, and remove Trulzi from all contact with children.

In a statement, Triulzi's former student thanked the Marianists and Chaminade for understanding and agreeing to change. He said he had tried for years to forget what had happened to him, and reached a degree of peace after seeking out mental health and legal counsel.

Triulzi pastored St. Mark's church in Denton, Texas, and taught at Nolan Catholic High School in Fort Worth, Texas, according to SNAP, or the Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests.

SNAP also said it wants the Marianists to discipline the Rev. Robert Osborne for claiming falsely to be Kirkwood's police chaplain and for giving a number of media interviews earlier this month after a gunman killed five people in City Hall.

Kirkwood police confirmed Wednesday that Osborne is no longer the department's chaplain. Osborne did not return a phone call seeking comment. But he told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Tuesday that he has been the department's chaplain for 40 years, and that if the position has been revoked, he hadn't been told.

Osborne, the former president of a Marianist-run high school, Vianney, in Kirkwood, left in 2006 after he was accused of sexually abusing a student. The civil case was settled out of court, but no criminal charges were filed. He is listed as a visiting priest at St. Peter Catholic Church in Kirkwood.

The Archdiocese of St. Louis has said there was no credible evidence of wrongdoing, so Osborne can continue to serve as a parish priest.

The Marianists are an international religious order of brothers and priests founded in 1817.

In the U.S., they sponsor colleges, high schools, parishes and retreat centers.


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