Legionary of Christ Multiple Abuser of Minors sued by Victim
(Reader can find Legion’s initial response, on Regnum Christi official web page below)
CONNECTICUT LAW TRIBUNE
“Article 7 of 10150
Alleged Catholic School Sex Abuse Victim Sues Legion of Christ
A 48-year-old California man allegedly raped as a teenager by an employee at the Connecticut-based Legion of Christ has filed a federal lawsuit seeking millions of dollars in damages.
The lawsuit, filed Thursday in U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut, claims the victim identified only as John Doe was first sexually assaulted at the now-defunct Immaculate Conception Apostolic School in New Hampshire when he was 13 years old. The teenager was allegedly raped every two to three weeks for about three and half years at the Roman Catholic boarding school for boys grades 7-12.
Cheshire-based Legion of Christ oversaw the school.
It’s alleged that a man known as Brother Fernando Cutanda abused John Doe and another boy at the school, and that officials did nothing to stop it, according to the lawsuit. John Doe claims he told Father Patrick O’Carroll about the alleged abuse during confession, he was told to pray “five rosaries for his sins, gave him penance and said ‘God will take care of things.'”
Jeffrey Herman, one of John Doe’s three attorneys, said his client “is strong, but deeply damaged. He thought it was time to come forward.”
Herman said Cutanda allegedly “groomed” the boy for sex. Herman said he does not know where Cutanda is today.
“Most kids are abused by someone they know,” said Herman, founding partner of Herman Law in Florida. “They are groomed and coerced and become compliant victims.”
Herman, who has represented numerous child abuse victims, said his client “feels so much inner rage. He feels betrayed by the Catholic Church and, as he finds out that he is not the only victim of this order, he finds it deeply disturbing.”
According to the National Catholic Register, 35 priests with the religious Legionaries of Christ have been accused of sexually abusing children since the order was formed in the early 1940s.
Nine of those priests, including the order’s founder, Marcial Maciel, have been found guilty and punished canonically. Fourteen of the priests were acquitted and most of the remaining cases are under review, according to the register.
Herman said another child also reported abuse while at the school.
“In addition to being religious instruction, it was a residential facility,” Herman said. “And, to allow a pedophile to stay and to not protect the kids is a definition of negligence.”
The lawsuit includes counts for negligence, recklessness, breach of fiduciary duties and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
No one from the Legion of Christ was available for comment Thursday.
Daniel Ellis, an associate with Herman Law, and Frank Bartlett Jr., managing partner of the Bartlett Legal Group in Cheshire, are also involved in the litigation.
The case is scheduled to be heard by U.S. District Judge Janet Hall in New Haven.
18 AUG 2017NEWS ARTICLE
Communication Regarding an Article in The Connecticut Law Tribune
The territorial director asked us to share with you the below communication that was sent to the Legionaries earlier today.
Thy Kingdom Come!
Dear fathers and brothers in Christ,
Yesterday an article was published in The Connecticut Law Tribune saying a federal lawsuit has been filed against the Legion of Christ, Inc., in association with then-Brother Fernando Cutanda. The territorial director made a statement regarding Mr. Cutanda two years ago. The Legion of Christ, Inc., has not yet been served with the lawsuit but understands that it involves alleged conduct from the 1980s in New Hampshire. The Legion of Christ will investigate the allegations made in the lawsuit and respond to them accordingly.