Sex Abuse Lawsuit Filed Against Diocese, Former Bishop
New Hawaii Predator Priest Exposed
Deadline to Come Forward, Use Courts is April 24
(Honolulu, HI) – Less than three weeks before a legal deadline, a Honolulu man has come forward and filed a lawsuit charging that he was sexually abused by Catholic priests and a former Catholic bishop.
The lawsuit, filed Friday, says that the victim, John Roe 27, was sexually abused at St. Stephen’s Seminary and Damien Memorial School. The boy was a 14-year-old student at St. Stephen’s in 1968 when Fr. William Queenan began sexually abusing him. Queenan, who is being exposed for the first time, was a member of the Sulpician order and a teacher at the school. Soon after the abuse, the lawsuit says, the victim came forward to then-priest, later-Bishop Joseph Ferrario. Ferrario used the disclosure against the boy and began abusing him as well.
In 1970, the victim transferred to Damien Memorial School. Because of family turmoil, he lived in the residence reserved for the Irish Christian Brothers, who ran the school. As a result of the trauma of the abuse he had already suffered, the victim was immediately targeted and sexually abused by Br. Robert Brouillette and Br. Thomas Ford, two notorious predators who lived and worked at the school.
An attorney for the victim says that stories of abuse like this are tragic and common.
“As we get closer and closer to the legal deadline, more brave victims like this are coming forward to tell their stories and get justice,” said Mark Gallagher, a Kailua-based attorney for the victim. “For decades, this boy and others like him thought they were all alone and that no one would believe them. Now, we can see that they were victims of patterns of abuse across Oahu.”
Brouillette has been named as an abuser by dozens of children in Hawaii and across the mainland. In 2000, Ford was convicted of the violent abuse of abandoned children for crimes he committed at the Mt. Cashel Orphanage in Canada. Ferrario has been accused of abuse by at least five boys.
This is the second case that alleges Ferrario abused a child after the child came to him to disclose abuse. In 2012, Mark Pinkosh alleged in a lawsuit that Ferrario did the same when Pinkosh went to him to say he had been abused by Fr. Joseph Henry.
Approximately 40 cases have been filed under Hawaii’s civil window, a two-year period that allows victims of child sex abuse to come forward and use the civil courts, no matter when the abuse occurred. The window law ends on April 24, 2014.
The complaint is posted at AbusedinHawaii.com.