New Lawsuit Is Filed against High Profile Jesuit Author and Professor


November 6, 2008

New pedophile priest lawsuit is filed

Predator is nationally-known author & professor

He belongs to high profile Catholic order, the Jesuits

His supervisors knew of his crimes but ignored them, lawsuit says

Accused of molesting at least 8 girls, he wasn’t removed until 2003

SNAP urges others who “saw, suspected, or suffered” his misdeeds to come forward


At a news conference, clergy molestation victims and attorneys will announce and discuss a new child sex abuse lawsuit against a nationally-known Jesuit priest and professor who now faces allegations of assaulting at least eight girls.


TODAY, Thursday, Nov. 6, at 1:15 PM


At the law office of Kerns, Frost & Pearlman, Three First National Plaza, 70 W. Madison Suite 5350 (corner of Clark) in downtown Chicago


A Michigan woman who was abused by this priest, two attorneys who represent victims of this priest, and the founder of a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (


A photo of Powell is available at


Fr. John J. Powell is accused of abusing of at least 7 girls in 1960s and 1970s, including the “Jane Doe” who is filing this new lawsuit. She met Powell as a teenager around 1967, when she attended Rosarian Academy, a Catholic girls’ school in West Palm Beach, Florida. During private “counseling sessions,” Powell made her sit on his lap, kiss him, and forced her to take her school uniform off and fondled her.

Powell was a professor at several universities who also “frequently traveled and gave retreats,” and wrote several books that were widely popular in religious circles. He was first sued in 2003 and again in 2006. Six of his victims settled their litigation in 2005.

According to the new suit, Powell engaged in “a pattern of sexually abusing Loyola University students and other minor and adult students.” His supervisors were repeatedly informed, it says, “of Powell’s pedophilic behavior and his propensity to abuse but failed to act on that knowledge. The Jesuits “did not inform law enforcement officials, students members of the Catholic community or the public at large of Powell’s wrongful and criminal conduct.” Instead, they claimed that “Powell was a priest in good standing and allowed Powell to continue in ministry and conduct numerous retreats where he could have access to and abuse children.”

He worked at West Baden University (1961-1965), Bellermine School of Theology of Loyola University (1965-1968), Loyola University of Chicago (1968-1979), and Loyola University (1979-2001). Powell is now retired in Michigan.

Doe is in her 50s and now lives in Florida. Her suit is being filed today in Cook County Circuit Court.


Attorney Jeff Anderson of St. Paul MN (612) 817 8665

Attorney Marc Pearlman of Chicago (773) 368 014

Barbara Blaine of Chicago, SNAP founder and president (312) 399 4747 cell

David Clohessy of St. Louis, SNAP National Director (314) 566-9790 cell


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