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Sexual Abuse by Congregation of Christian Brothers

After continued reports of sexual abuse, the Irish Government introduced the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse (CICA) which began work in 1999. In the CICA Investigation Committee Report Vol. I, the committee looked into the Irish Christian Brothers in regards to the outpour of reports relating to emotional, physical and sexual abuse that occurred to children under the religious order's care. In this report, it was discovered that thousands of children in Ireland had suffered sexual abuse at institutions run and staffed by Christian Brothers; in fact, there were more allegations of sexual abuse at these places than allegations made at any other male-run religious order combined. This finding has since been accepted by the religious order.

Reports of Christian Brothers Sexual Abuse in America

Unfortunately, the reports of sexual abuse have not been confined to Ireland. In fact, with all of the schools that have been owned, operated and staffed by the congregation, there have been a staggering amount of sexual abuse claims. One of the most famous involved Brother Robert Brouillette who worked in Burbank, Illinois at the St. Laurence High School. Brother Robert Brouillette was arrested in 1998 for the indecent solicitation of a child, convicted in 1999 of possessing child pornography and faced a civil case in 2002 relating to sexual assault.

Many of the lawsuits relating to sexual abuse and the congregation come from the state of Washington and the schools that currently and previously have run there. One of these, the Briscoe Memorial School has since been closed but was the source of over 35 different claims. It has been reported that in the 1950s, it became known that the school was host of two Christian Brothers who had admitted to the molestation of children. While they were later removed, this did not stop the issues and the problems of sexual abuse allegedly persisted until the school was closed down in 1970.

Another well-documented case of sexual abuse involved Brother Edward Courtney. Court documents have shown that Courtney worked at several schools with the Christian Brothers from the 1960s to the middle of the 1970s, however, was repeatedly transferred after allegations of sexual abuse were taken to his superiors. In 1974, he began to work at O'Dea High School. He was there for four years before more allegations surfaced and in 1978, he was then removed from the school.

He, however, did not stay out of education. Instead he applied and was appointed to the St. Alphonsus Parish School as principle. Courtney admitted in his deposition to have had sexual contact with students during his stay at the school, which eventually led to him resigning. After leaving the school, he continued to move around working at several different public schools. In 1988, after more allegations, he pleaded guilty to felony charges of indecent liberties. He was convicted and ordered to two years of probation, mandatory sexual offender treatment and was barred from having unsupervised contact with anyone under 18.

Importance of Hiring a Clergy Sexual Abuse Attorney

Sexual abuse allegations relating to the Irish Christian Brothers have been a source of serious pain and suffering to many people throughout the United States and the world. At Manly & Stewart, we pride ourselves as advocates for victims' rights and will do everything that we can to help our clients obtain the just outcome that they deserve. With the recent Christian Brothers bankruptcy filing, we are prepared to help ensure that our clients are not barred from making their claim simply because they missed the Abuse Survivor Bar Date. Contact a clergy abuse attorney from our firm today to learn how we can help protect you.

If you are facing a clergy sexual abuse claim involving the Irish Christian Brothers, contact Manly & Stewart today. We are here to fight for you.

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