Former Topeka Priest Sexual Abuse Lawsuit Moves Forward

By James Ryan
April 13, 2018

[with video]

A lawsuit claiming sexual abuse by a former Topeka priest is moving forward.

Earlier this week, a judge in Wyandotte county refused to throw out the case.

The lawsuit claims a former priest at St. Matthew Catholic Church in Topeka sexually abused a young boy in the 1980s.

The 20-page lawsuit claims that a former priest here at St. Matthews, referred to only as Father MJ, sexually abused a young boy from the age of 9-12 in the early 80s.

Kansas City Attorney Rebecca Randles represents the boy, now a man, who filed the lawsuit.

She said her client initially repressed the memories, but they came flooding back in 2015 while he was living in Guam.

"Guam started having allegations of abuse surface over there and after a few months of it, he began having flashbacks," Randles said.

The lawsuit claims the man started serving as an altar boy when he was in 4th grade.

"It all started because this priest took a special interest in this boy and invited him up to the rectory to watch the movie Ghandi", said Randles.

Starting with that visit, Randles said her client was fondled and raped over the course of three years.

But what did the church know?

Randles claimed that on at least two occasions, people saw her client leaving Father M.J.'s room.

"That gives them notice that something inappropriate is going on because priests are not supposed to have children in their rooms," Randles said. "Even back in the 1980s, that was expressly forbidden."

A spokesperson for the Archdiocese of Kansas City told KSNT News that the priest in question left the area in 1994 and was liacized, or stripped of his powers and authority, in 2005.

Although it is a civil case, Randles said statute of limitations are still in play, so over the coming weeks she said they're going to be conducting interviews to prove that this lawsuit should move forward.

KSNT News left messages for all three attorneys that are representing the Archdiocese. So far, they have not returned our calls.

Below you can read the lawsuit in its entirety.








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