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Friday, September 18 2020 @ 10:30 PM CDT

Catholic groups, high school sued over alleged abuse

Whited Sepulchers

Plaintiff claims officials knew of priest's history of sexual abuse

By Maricella Miranda
An alleged sexual-abuse victim is suing two Roman Catholic organizations and Cretin-Derham Hall High School claiming they committed fraud by employing a known child molester as a teacher.

The suit, filed Thursday in Ramsey County District Court, claims the Christian Brothers of the Midwest, Christian Brothers of Minnesota and the high school knew in 1966 that Brother Charles Anthony "Raimond" Rose sexually abused a student at DeLaSalle High School in Minneapolis, where he previously taught.

The plaintiff identified in the suit as "John Doe 129" claims his attack happened seven years after that.

"This is a lawsuit for fraud, because Cretin-Derham High School and the Christian Brothers were aware that Brother Rose was a child molester and, even knowing that, they placed him in a position where he had contact with children," Patrick Noaker, attorney for the plaintiff, said at a news conference Thursday.

It's the third lawsuit in Minnesota alleging the Christian Brothers of the Midwest committed fraud by letting Rose work with children when the group knew of his prior abuse record.

Brother Francis Carr of the Christian Brothers of the Midwest, the order to which Rose belonged, said in a statement that Rose, 76, has not been in active ministry or had contact with minors since 2002.

"It has been the long-standing mission of the De La Salle Christian Brothers of the Midwest to serve and empower God's people and one another through the educational mission of the Catholic Church," Carr said. "Thus, given who we are, the abuse of any child is an affront to our mission and purpose, and we do not and will not tolerate such abuse." He declined to comment further.
Mary Jo Groeller, a spokeswoman for Cretin-Derham Hall, said she had not seen the lawsuit and could not comment. Groeller did confirm that Rose worked at the school but did not say when.

The lawsuit states that Rose worked at Cretin-Derham Hall from 1968 through 1974.

Bob Schwiderski, director of the Minnesota Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said Rose now lives across the street from a Catholic Brothers high school in Chicago. SNAP held news conferences Thursday near his home and in the San Francisco area where Rose worked and was accused of sexual abuse.

In 2003, Rose was named in a California civil suit as having abused a 14-year-old boy during a ski trip in 1982. The suit was settled for $1 million. The Minnesota suits do not name Rose as a defendant.

"This particular man — the way he went about his abuse — is the hallmark of a serial predator," Noaker said. "I've heard this approach has been taken by Brother Raymond from a number of men."

The plaintiff in Thursday's suit came forward after learning of the other suits involving Rose.

The first Minnesota suit was filed in February, the second last month.

The most recent lawsuit claims Rose engaged in unpermitted, harmful and offensive sexual contact with the male plaintiff, who was 16 to 17 years old at the time, around 1973 while at the Dunrovin Christian Brothers Retreat Center in Marine on St. Croix. The plaintiff now lives in California.

The plaintiff came from a devout and active Roman Catholic family and "therefore developed great admiration, trust, reverence and respect for the Roman Catholic Church and its agents," the suit said.

The suit claims the Christian Brothers and Cretin-Derham high school concealed Rose's previous abuse and this prevented the plaintiff from discovering it or suing for the abuse he experienced.

The plaintiff did not realize he had been defrauded until this year, the suit claims.

The abuse allegedly resulted in the plaintiff suffering from emotional distress, humiliation and psychological injuries, of which he continues to incur medical expenses for treatment, the suit stated.

The suit seeks a judgment in excess of $50,000.

After the second lawsuit came to light, Cretin-Derham Hall Principal Richard Engler sent a letter about the allegations to parents. The letter named the man who filed the suit, but not Rose.

SNAP leaders sent a letter Thursday to the National Review Board of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops asking that disciplinary action be taken against Engler for naming the alleged victim, and against John Nienstedt, the archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis, for not taking action against Engler.

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