Chaminade grad sued the Marianists for sexual abuse; they moved the case to bankruptcy court

By Nassim Benchaabane
May 28, 2019

A letter Chris Boisaubin received in 2012 from his high school was both a blessing and a curse.

Boisaubin, now 65, was one of about 1,600 former students of Chaminade College Preparatory School to receive the letter from the Marianists, the Roman Catholic order that runs the boys boarding and day school in Creve Coeur.

A graduate had accused two Marianists of sexually abusing him while he was enrolled in the 1970s. The victim asked the Rev. Martin Solma to send the letter to students who had graduated while the two men had worked at the school.

Several alumni wrote back with allegations of abuse by the men and other clergy there. They filed lawsuits, saying the letter had triggered repressed memories of abuse.

Boisaubin sued the Marianists in 2014 alleging John Woulfe, a member of the Marianist order who is now dead, had abused him when he was a minor and that officials knew he had abused two other boys previously.

The order is willing to pay $50,000 to settle Bouisaubin’s case, but he would get none of the money and the Marianists wouldn’t have to admit wrongdoing of any form, said Ken Chackes, Boisaubin’s attorney.

That’s because for the last two years, Boisaubin’s case hasn’t legally been his to pursue. It’s been property of the bankruptcy court in St. Louis.

Boisaubin, a longtime IT worker, has filed for bankruptcy twice in his life and was discharged from both cases; the most recent case, in St. Louis, ended in 2009.

When he sued the Marianists in 2014, they argued that the damages he sought were an asset, like his car or home or anything else he owned, and became the property of the bankruptcy court, to be surrendered to a trustee overseeing the sale of his estate to pay his creditors.

In December, the Marianists struck an agreement with the bankruptcy trustee; the order would pay $50,000 to Boisaubin’s creditors in exchange for the trustee dropping the sex abuse case. They’re now trying to override Boisaubin’s appeal and enforce the agreement in court.


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