Church Personnel Files Reveal New Sex Abuser

the-grottoIf you’ve ever wondered why lawyers for Catholic Church sexual abuse survivors fight to make the church’s personnel files public, today’s news gives you a good indication. As a result of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles sexual abuse settlement, a new abuser has been publicly revealed.

Brother Gregory Atherton, a member of the Friar Servants of Mary or Servites as they are popularly known, has been uncovered as a sexual abuser. Brother Gregory, now 89 years old, acknowledged the abuse when confronted. The abuse occurred from 1967 until 1975 at the Servite High School in Anaheim California where he served.

According to the Oregonian, “The abuse occurred while Atherton – then serving as registrar, office manager and music director at the school – molested the three boys, the youngest of whom was 14, according to a chronology included in the records. He abused them after giving haircuts and after church services, music lessons and choir practices, documents show. Atherton abused his victims in motels during road trips from California to Portland, Utah and British Columbia. The timeline of his abuse notes that he molested at least one boy every day for two weeks as they traveled to and from Portland’s Sanctuary of Our Sorrowful Mother, better known as The Grotto, stopping in between at pornographic shops in San Francisco.”

Officials of the religious order knew about the sexual abuse allegations at least by 1990 when the religious brother was sent to the infamous Servants of the Paraclete treatment center in Jemez Springs, New Mexico which is run by another Catholic religious order of the same name.

Brother Gregory served for a number of years at the Grotto in Portland Oregon, a well-known religious pilgrimage site in the Portland area.

Dumas and Vaughn Attorneys at Law has law offices in Portland, Oregon and serves clients in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and other states.

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