- Associated Press - Thursday, March 26, 2015

CREVE COEUR, Mo. (AP) - A St. Louis judge has ruled that a sexual abuse case against a former Marianist cleric at Chaminade College Preparatory School can proceed to trial.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Marianist leader the Rev. Martin Solma, the school and the Marianist Province were sued in 2012 by a plaintiff known only as John Doe for alleged abuse he suffered. The plaintiff said his repressed memories of the alleged abuse surfaced after visiting the school in 2011 or 2012.

“I coped by repression of this embarrassment, humiliation and guilt and now see the evidence of chronic, underlying psychological damage as these sick memories have surfaced,” the plaintiff said in a statement in 2012.

The lawsuit accuses the former teacher and coach, who worked there from 1958 to 1982, of allegedly watching juvenile boys shower. According to documents, he would allegedly touch them inappropriately. The cleric accused of the abuse is not named in the suit because he is dead. The suit alleges that the school knew about the abuse.

The suit is seeking unspecified damages for emotional distress and medical and psychological treatment caused by the alleged abuse that started in 1966 when the plaintiff was in seventh grade.

In response to another sexual abuse allegation in 2012, Solma sent letters to 1,600 former students asking for additional information. The lawyers for the plaintiff say that they now have more than 30 letters stating knowledge of related sexual abuse to the dead Marianist leader.

Leaders of the Marianist order declined to comment.

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Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, https://www.stltoday.com


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