Former Cardinal Mooney student accuses former teacher of sexual abuse of 3-year period
By Seth Palmer
January 24, 2020
Rochester, N.Y. (WHAM) - A man formerly from Rochester is suing the Congregation of Holy Cross, saying he was sexually abused by a teacher at Cardinal Mooney High School who was convicted 20 years later of kidnapping two adolescent boys and offering them money for sex.
The survivor is filing the lawsuit under the Child Victims' Act, a piece of legislation in New York that allows a one-year window for child sex abuse survivors to file civil lawsuits against the abusers, regardless of statute of limitations.
At the time of the alleged abuse, the man said he was a student at Cardinal Mooney in Rochester. In the lawsuit, the man claims he was abused by John Walsh, a brother of Holy Cross and teacher at Cardinal Mooney.
In 1966, the survivor claims Walsh took notice of him and gave him special attention and counseling sessions on how he could become a brother of Holy Cross after graduation to groom him "for the purpose of sexually abusing him."
At first, the counseling sessions were about 30 minutes long, the lawsuit claims. They gradually increased over time, eventually easing into what the lawsuit describes as a pattern of "sadistic sexual abuse."
The various forms of sexual abuse would happen in the locker room, library and rectory at the school campus. Several hotels were also used to carry out the abuse, the survivor claimed.
In total, the lawsuit estimates at least 40 occasions between 1966 and 1969 in which the survivor was sexually abused by Walsh.
Walsh was arrested and charged with kidnapping two boys and offering them money for sex in 1985. Ultimately Walsh pleaded guilty to coercion and unlawful imprisonment; he was sentenced to six months in jail.
The lawsuit accuses Holy Cross of negligent failure to warn, and negligent failure to provide a safe and secure environment.
The survivor currently lives in California