Former Fort Lewis Chaplain Faces Abuse Suit
A Thurston County Man Serving in Iraq Says a Priest Sexually Abused Him As a Child at Fort Lewis, According to a Lawsuit

By Steve Maynard
News Tribune
July 27, 2005

A U.S. Army soldier serving in Iraq says a Catholic priest who was a chaplain at Fort Lewis sexually abused him nearly 20 years ago.

The 34-year-old Thurston County man is suing the priest, the Rev. Reinard Beaver, and the people he says should have protected him from the priest - the Archdiocese for the Military Services and the archbishop of Seattle.

Beaver, who lives in Steilacoom, has been sued by at least four other men who say he abused them.

He was removed from public ministry in 1988 after complaints surfaced.

The plaintiff is anonymous in the Pierce County Superior Court lawsuit, identified only by the initials "J.S."

He was a minor when he attended Mass regularly with his family at Fort Lewis.

The lawsuit filed Monday alleges Beaver used his status as a priest and the family's chaplain to groom the boy for sexual abuse.

During 1986-87, the lawsuit alleges, Beaver abused the boy at the priest's house in Pierce County and in a hotel room during a trip to Eastern Washington for a church-related function. The lawsuit says Beaver used alcohol "to facilitate the abuse."

The lawsuit also alleges that the Archdiocese for the Military Services in Washington, D.C., and the Archdiocese of Seattle failed to properly investigate Beaver's background to determine whether he was suitable to be in a position of trust with children. Both dioceses also failed to take action against the priest after abuse complaints surfaced, the lawsuit alleges.

Neither Beaver nor a spokesman for the Archdiocese for the Military Services could be reached for comment.

Seattle Archdiocese spokesman Greg Magnoni said Beaver was not supervised by or under the authority of the Seattle archbishop and that the Archdiocese should be removed as a defendant.


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