Thursday, September 29, 2005


Priest, music teacher accused of sex abuse

TAMPA - Two more lawsuits have been filed against Tampa's Mary Help of Christians School, accusing a priest and a music teacher of sexually abusing boys in their care.

Eight suits now have been filed since 2002 accusing priests or teachers of child molestation. The two recent suits were filed Tuesday in Hillsborough Circuit Court.

One says the plaintiff enrolled in the school in 1980 for the sixth grade. On 20 or more occasions starting in September 1982, a music teacher sexually abused him, the suit says.

Years after the music teacher left the school in 1984, he continued to have a sexual relationship with the plaintiff, the suit says.

The second suit says the plaintiff enrolled in the school in 1989 in the sixth grade.

After catching the boy urinating behind the school, a priest called him to the back of the altar and prayed while he fondled the boy, the suit says.

Both suits say the plaintiffs suffered psychological damage. Each seeks more than $5-million in damages from defendants, the Salesian Society and Mary Help of Christian Schools.

See also, the never-ending chronicle of church-related crime.

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