Alleged Sex Abuse Victim of Brother Louis Meinhardt Speaks out
By Courtney Gousman
February 9, 2012
Creve Coeur, MO (KSDK) - Decades after alleged sex abuse, a former student at Chaminade College Preparatory student is speaking out for the first time.
This is a story that's both shocking and heart wrenching, and really changed the life of an innocent young man. NewsChannel 5 has this exclusive story.
This is such an emotional issue for the man we talked to, that he couldn't bring himself to meet face-to-face. He says he's been so rattled for the lasted few days when this news went public. So Wednesday night, he shared his story by phone.
Louis J. Meinhardt was a teacher at Chaminade for more than three decades from 1941 to 1948, and then again from 1958 through 1982. He also coached young men on the school's basketball and football teams.
The now deceased Brother from the Society of Mary stands accused of abusing some of those same boys he was supposed to be helping to groom. NewsChannel 5 talked to one of Louis Meinhardt's alleged victims, who recalled the first time he was abused by the teacher. He was in the sixth grade, seeing Meinhardt for one-on-one tutoring.
"He was pulling the shades down so nobody could look in. He called me from my school desk to come up to his desk. Then I noticed him fondling himself. Then he started fondling me. Then he pulled me into his space and started kissing me on the mouth," said the alleged victim.
This victim says me he also played on the school's football team, with Meinhardt at the helm.
Occasionally, he was made to stay after practice to run extra laps.
"Then he'd finally tell you, well, you can take a shower, so you'd be in the shower, and the next thing you know, he was there fondling himself," said the alleged victim.
This victim says Meinhardt would threaten expulsion if he didn't cooperate with his teacher's wishes.
"I think he picked the people he thought were the weakest."
The former Chaminade student is now 57-years-old and says the abuse still haunts him to this day. He tried telling his parents about the abuse, but instead was punished.
"I got scolded and I got a whooping. It wasn't something that happens because Catholic brothers and priests take a vow of celibacy and they would never possibly do that," said the victim.
The victim's father called yesterday to apologize for not believing him in the first place. The man says the most disturbing part for him is the fact that when he first enrolled at Chaminade, he had the world at his fingertips. He was an exceptional student, making top grades, but because of the trauma he suffered, he dropped out of high school, and barely got his G.E.D. He says prior to the abuse, he actually wanted to be a priest.