‘The abuse I suffered left me a damaged man:’ B.C. man sues Catholic priest, seminary over alleged sexual abuse


VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — A person who testified in opposition to a Catholic priest throughout a sexual assault trial in Chilliwack within the 1990s says he has discovered the braveness to take him to courtroom once more.

Fr. Harold Sander, also called Fr. Placidus, was acquitted of six intercourse offences after a two week trial in 1997.

Now, he’s being sued by one of many complainants in that trial.

“The felony course of revictimized me. I used to be in a darkish place for a very long time after,” says a press launch issued by the person, who NEWS 1130 is just not naming. “Twenty years on I’ve discovered the braveness to return ahead once more. I’m hopeful that by this civil motion I’ll discover fact and justice”

The person, who’s now in his 50s, says he suffered sexual abuse on the Christ the King Seminary in Mission within the 1970s. The seminary is an all boys highschool and faculty. College students reside on the campus.

Court docket paperwork say he was about 13 years outdated, and residing within the dorms, in 1974 when Fr. Emerick Lazar, who was employed on the seminary, broke his arm.

He alleges that when he was injured Fr. Placidus fondled his genitals whereas giving him a sponge bathtub within the infirmary. The declare goes on to say that Fr. Placidus additionally touched his genitals the next 12 months when he was in mattress.

“As a substitute of receiving an upbringing that will have been in step with my household’s religion and belief within the Roman Catholic Church, I used to be psychologically, bodily and spiritually abused by a couple of perpetrator,” the sufferer says.

In the course of the 1997 felony trial, three complainants testified in opposition to Fr. Placidus. One other former pupil instructed the courtroom he had been sexually assaulted in Fr. Placidus’s workplace, after an artwork class. The decide within the case mentioned proof given by the three males was unreliable. Fr. Placidus took the stand in the course of the trial, and admitted to having a consensual intercourse with an 18-year-old seminary pupil on one event within the 1980s. He additionally recalled kissing one pupil on the lips twice.

Additional allegations of abuse, negligence

Along with Fr. Placidus, the complainant is suing Fr. Lazar, in addition to an individual recognized as John Doe, a Benedictine priest who was overseeing building of the seminary’s gym-auditorium within the 1970s. The complainant alleges that priest had him carry out some labour on the undertaking with out a harness, and because of this he alleges he was injured throughout a fall.

A fourth man can also be named within the lawsuit. The complainant alleges Shawn Rohrback, a university pupil employed on the seminary within the late ’70s, plied him with alcohol earlier than performing a intercourse act on the complainant throughout a climbing journey. The lawsuit additionally alleges Rohrback tried to rape him a 12 months later.

All of those males had been “individuals ready of belief, energy and/or authority” in accordance with the lawsuit.

“The abuse I suffered left me a damaged man,” says the sufferer. The impacts outlined in courtroom paperwork embrace PTSD, despair, nervousness, and sexual dysfunction. He says the abuse led to a lack of connection to his religion and lifelong issues with belief and intimacy.

The lawsuit additionally names “institutional defendants,” alleging the a systemic failure to guard him from the abuse and to carry the perpetrators accountable.

The Christ the King Seminary, The Roman Catholic Archbishop, and Westminster Abbey Ltd. are all alleged to have been negligent.

Fr. Placidus, now in his 90s, nonetheless lives on the seminary in Mission.