Suit against Archdiocese Is Amended; Spelling Fixed for Names of Priest, Teacher

By Gregory A. Hall
Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY)
July 16, 2002

An amended lawsuit filed in Jefferson Circuit Court accuses a priest of exposing himself to boys and a parochial school teacher of sexual abuse more than 30 years ago while both were at Our Mother of Sorrows School.

Ronald Kuhl is suing the Catholic Archdiocese of Louisville, alleging that a teacher, "Mr. Kazmerek," abused him in the late 1960s or early 1970s. Kuhl also alleges that "Father Magel," a priest at the church, exposed himself to a group of boys. Neither the teacher nor the priest is a defendant in the lawsuit, which only presents one side of a case.

In language similar to other lawsuits against the archdiocese, Kuhl's complaint alleges that the teacher and the priest "engaged in a pattern" of sexually abusing or attempting to sexually abuse Kuhl and that archdiocesan officials knew or should have known about the alleged abuse and did nothing to report the conduct. The lawsuit, however, does not offer evidence of such a pattern.

The lawsuit was filed last month with an incorrect spelling of the teacher's name and a phonetic spelling of the priest's name, which was listed as "Father Omego." The Courier-Journal didn't report on the initial lawsuit because it couldn't verify that the priest who was named existed.

Kuhl's attorney, J. Andrew White, filed a "notice of correction" Friday changing the names of the teacher and the priest.

Archdiocesan spokeswoman Cecelia Price said Gary Kazmerek taught at the school in 1968-69. Kazmerek left to pursue further studies, according to archdiocesan records, and the archdiocese has no idea of his whereabouts, she said.

The archdiocese also confirmed through Price that the Rev. John E. Magel, who was ordained in 1960 and retired in 1995, was at Our Mother of Sorrows from 1967 to 1971. An attempt to contact Magel, 77, yesterday by telephone at his apartment was unsuccessful.

Magel "attended numerous youth activities with the young men of his parish," Kuhl's complaint states. "On one such occasion, in the presence of the plaintiff and others, he exposed himself to the plaintiff and his friends."

White, when interviewed after the lawsuit was first filed, described the behavior as sexual misconduct. An attempt to contact White yesterday at his office was unsuccessful.

The archdiocese has "absolutely not" had any similar allegations against Magel, Price said.

White previously told The CourierJournal that the incorrect names in the original complaint resulted from an error in Kuhl's recollection.

"It doesn't change anything material, because they're not (defendants)," White said.

Price wouldn't comment on the allegations in the lawsuit. She said, however, that the incorrect and phonetic spellings troubled the archdiocese.

"It does create a question mark in our minds about is this person being accurately identified," she said.

Kuhl's initial lawsuit stated that "Gerry Kazmerrick" abused Kuhl and forced him "to engage in deviant conduct and unwanted sexual conduct." White said the teacher sodomized Kuhl when he was about 12.

Kuhl's lawsuit, one of 154 filed in Jefferson Circuit Court since midApril against the archdiocese, is the second accusing a grade-school teacher of sexual abuse.

Other lawsuits allege abuse by priests and other clergy.


Published on July 17, 2002 Pg. A2. Because of incorrect information in a court file, the name of former Our Mother of Sorrows School teacher Gary Kazmarek was misspelled in yesterday's story on an amended Jefferson Circuit Court lawsuit accusing Kazmarek of sexual abuse.


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