Two More File Claims against Jesuit Priest

By Mary Beth Smetzer
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
April 1, 2005

Two more men, identified as Jack Doe 5 and Jack Doe 6, have filed claims against Jesuit priest Francis Nawn, saying they were sexually abused by Nawn when he was ministering at St. Peter's Church in Sheldon Point.

The two men join four other plaintiffs who have accused Nawn of molesting them as children at Sheldon Point, a small southwestern Alaska community located on the Black River in the Yukon River Delta. Nawn is now deceased.

The defendants named in the lawsuit filed in Bethel Superior Court are the Catholic Diocese of Fairbanks, the Society of Jesus Oregon Province and the Alaska Jesuits.

Jack Doe 5 came forward to say the sexual abuse by Nawn started in 1968, when he was 9 and continued until he was 13.

Jack Doe 6, an altar boy, alleges similar abuse by Nawn beginning when he was 7 and continuing until he was 12, from 1972-77.

Two date, more than five dozen complaints alleging sexual abuse in the Fairbanks Diocese have been lodged.

In addition to Nawn, three other priests, the Revs. Jules Convert, James Poole and Segundo Llorente and Catholic volunteer Joseph Lundowski have been accused of sexual abuse. Only Poole, in his early 80s, is alive.

Some settlements in the more than 50 cases have been made with individuals, but more than 40 lawsuits remain outstanding.

"We are saddened to hear there are additional people joining the lawsuit," said Ronnie Rosenberg, the diocese's human resources director. "We view each of these cases individually and do whatever we can to bring about healing for each of these men."

Rosenberg, speaking on behalf of Bishop Donald Kettler, continues to urge anyone who believes they were injured by priests or volunteers in the diocese to contact the chancery or have their representative do so


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