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Lawsuit alleging sexual abuse filed against St. Mary's College High School

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ANITA LIU | STAFF

A former student at Saint Mary’s College High School has filed a lawsuit against the school alleging sexual abuse.

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AUGUST 30, 2022

Content warning: sexual abuse

A former student at Saint Mary’s College High School in Berkeley has filed a lawsuit against the school alleging sexual abuse between 1963 and 1965.

The plaintiff, named John Doe in the complaint, alleges that he was sexually assaulted by a former employee who served as a priest, teacher, coach and counselor at the school. The complaint further alleges that the alleged perpetrator, identified only as “Brother Adrian,” sexually assaulted other children at the school and that the school was allegedly aware of this conduct.

The lawsuit, which was filed in April, alleges that Doe has suffered physical injury and psychological, emotional and economic harm as a result of the sexual assault. It further alleges that the incidents were “enabled and caused” by the negligence of the defendantsSt. Mary’s and The Brothers of the Christian Schools, a religious order.

Doe is seeking compensation for medical and psychotherapy expenses, emotional distress, lost wages and costs of suit.

According to Doe’s attorney, Rick Simons of Furtado, Jaspovice & Simons, Brother Adrian had put his hands on Doe’s genitals in the school’s locker room. Simons added that he is currently obtaining more information about Brother Adrian.

“A lot of times with these victims, especially with older cases, they don’t tell you everything right at the beginning,” Simons said. “They have trust issues, embarrassment issues, shame issues, all kinds of things that are the normal consequences of childhood sexual assault.”

Simons said he is in the process of filing another lawsuit relating to Brother Adrian’s alleged abuse at the school. He added that Brother Adrian, who is not named as a defendant, is most likely not alive given the length of time since the alleged abuse.

Simons added that there is no evidence that suggests that Brother Adrian was held accountable for his alleged misconduct.

Azure’D Nunley, vice president of St. Mary’s, declined to comment on the lawsuit, and the Brothers of the Christian Schools did not respond to a request for comment.

Simons said that he has represented hundreds of victims during his career, noting they often come forward to protect children from similar abuse in the future. He added that Doe’s life has been “forever” changed by the alleged abuse.

“They typically — and this guy is no exception — don’t tell anyone, so they suffer in silence, they’re embarrassed, they feel shame and guilt,” Simons said. “It’s important for them to speak out because that’s the only way that they have to come to terms with what happened to them as kids.”

Contact Victor Corona at [email protected], and follow him on Twitter at @victorcoronas.
LAST UPDATED

AUGUST 31, 2022


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