August 10, 2008
Attorneys for the Society of Jesus Oregon Province are in mediation with a Portland woman who alleges years of sex abuse at the hands of two Jesuit priests. As Andrew Theen reports, if a settlement isn’t reached the case goes to trial in October.
The $15 million lawsuit accuses Jesuit leaders in Oregon of fraud and negligence. A Portland woman says she was sexually abused starting at age 7 for a couple of years in the 1960s.
One of the priests named was implicated in dozens of sex abuse cases in Alaska; the other was a target in a high-profile Archdiocese of Portland case.
Kelly Clark is a Portland attorney representing the victim. He says “cases like this aren’t fun.”
Kelly Clark: “I don’t think it’s a particularly good thing for the Province of Jesuits or my client to go to trial. But ultimately, if parties can’t agree on how to resolve a legal dispute that’s what juries are for.”
Oregon’s Jesuit leaders say they will continue to cooperate with the legal proceedings, and that their desire is to bring “healing and justice” to the victim.