SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) -- A Seattle man has filed a civil lawsuit against Spokane's Gonzaga Preparatory School, saying the Jesuit-run school failed to protect him from a priest who was a serial sex predator.
The victim, identified in court papers as P.V., filed his case Thursday in Spokane County Superior Court. The lawsuit also names the Jesuits of the Missouri Province, the order that employed the priest, as a defendant.
The victim's attorney, Tim Kosnoff, says the behavior by the Missouri Province was particularly egregious and represented a grave failure to protect children.
We contacted Gonzaga Prep about the lawsuit Thursday. School officials tell us they heard about the claims 6 months ago and conducted an investigation. School officials say the alleged abuse did not happen at Gonzaga Prep and no staff members were involved. Gonzaga Prep does not feel it is at fault in this case.
Gonzaga Prep President Al Falkner released this statement regarding the allegations:
“About six months ago this allegation was brought to the attention of Gonzaga Prep and after thorough investigation and a review of the allegations made about incidents occurring almost 50 years ago, Gonzaga Prep strongly believes that it is not responsible for alleged acts by a priest from the Missouri Province around a national Catholic conference that occurred at Gonzaga University. The SSCA or Summer School of the Christian Apostolate was attended by hundreds of students over several years from all over the Pacific Northwest. It was not sponsored by Gonzaga Prep. The alleged acts did not occur on Gonzaga Prep’s campus and no employees of Gonzaga Prep were involved. The priest named in the lawsuit had no affiliation with Gonzaga Prep.”
The Missouri Province has already paid more than $575,000 in settlements to at least 13 of Father Jack Campbell's abuse victims who have come forward.