2 Priests Accused of Sexual Abuse

July 27, 2005

Two lawsuits were filed Monday by four men against the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Seattle, claiming child sexual abuse by two priests.

In a lawsuit filed in King County Superior Court, three men accused the Rev. Barry Ashwell of abusing them at various times between 1970 and 1985.

Ashwell, who has faced previous allegations, was placed on administrative leave several years ago. His status as an active priest is pending before the Vatican. In December 2004, the archdiocese reached a settlement in one case involving him. Ashwell has denied previous allegations and could not be reached for comment.

In a lawsuit filed in Pierce County Superior Court, one man accused the Rev. Reinard Beaver of abusing him around 1986 and 1987, when the priest served as a military chaplain at Fort Lewis. The suit also names the Archdiocese for the Military Services, U.S.A.

Beaver, who has faced previous allegations, was apparently removed from active ministry in 1988 after complaints surfaced. He declined to comment yesterday.

Greg Magnoni, spokesman for the Seattle Archdiocese, said Beaver was never under the archdiocese's authority. Magnoni said he had not seen the suits so would not comment on them.


Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.