Accused Vianney chief removed amid sex case

St. Louis Post-Dipatch/August 28, 2006
By Jeremy Kohler

The president of Vianney High School, accused in a lawsuit in February of molesting a student, has been removed from the school, he wrote in the school's September newsletter.

The Rev. Robert Osborne, 73, wrote that he regretted "unresolved legal matters" forced him to leave the school a year before he had planned to retire.

He said he would vigorously defend himself against the accusations and was confident that he would be vindicated. A trial is scheduled for April 30 in St. Louis County.

A second Vianney student came forward after the suit to allege inappropriate behavior by Osborne. Kirkwood police have investigated the allegations, but no criminal charges have been filed.

A spokeswoman for the Marianist religious order, which operates Vianney, said its six-member provincial council removed Osborne because the lawsuit would be a distraction from his job of running the boys' high school in Kirkwood.

The council did not base its decision on whether it felt the accusations against Osborne were true, said the spokeswoman, Diane Guerra. The school plans to conduct a search for a new president, she said.

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