Accused Nun Had Taught at Cor Jesu

By Matthew Franck
St. Louis Post-Dispatch [Missouri]
June 5, 2003

A nun who has been accused of sexual misconduct at an all-girls high school in Connecticut was once an instructor at Cor Jesu Academy in Affton.

But Catholic officials say an inquiry has not produced any concerns about the sister's tenure here.

Sister Linda Cusano, 43, taught at Cor Jesu from 1988 to 1990. She is accused in a lawsuit filed last month in Connecticut of having repeated sexual contact with a former student of the Sacred Heart Academy in Hamden, Conn.

According to news reports, the student, Landa Mauriello-Vernon, says the misconduct includes an incident during which the nun wrestled her to the floor, saying she should "submit herself to God," and "join me in the convent."

Cusano began teaching at the Connecticut school immediately after leaving Cor Jesu. The two schools are sister schools, both founded by the religious order the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Stephen Fogerty, a lawyer who represents the religious order, said Cusano has voluntarily resigned from teaching since the lawsuit. He said Catholic officials have interviewed faculty and former students at Cor Jesu and have yet to turn up any evidence of misconduct.

"We're confident there was no inappropriate activity in St. Louis, based on our investigation," he said.

Still, Fogerty invited former students and parents with concerns to contact the school.


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