A civil suit filed in Ramsey County District Court this morning accuses a Catholic brother of sexually abusing a then-teenaged boy in the early 1970s while the two were staying at Dunrovin Christian Brothers Retreat Center in Marine on St. Croix.
The suit seeks unspecified damages from The Christian Brothers order and Cretin-Derham Hall High School, which the plaintiff's attorneys say facilitated the abuse by allowing an accused pedophile to continue to work with children.
"Knowing that he was a child molester, they still put him in at Cretin and also gave him some responsibilities over at Dunrovin ... where he then had access to kids. Nobody told any parents or kids that this guy had a prior history, and that constitutes fraud," said Patrick Noaker, who filed the suit on behalf of "John Doe 129," a former Cretin student and St. Paul resident who now lives out of state.
According to the complaint, Bro. Raimond "Rai" Rose "engaged in unpermitted, harmful and offensive sexual contact" with the former student in 1973 or 1974, when he would have been 16 or 17 years old.
"As part of the Cretin curriculum they were required to go on some of these retreats over at Dunrovin. At one of these retreats, 'Brother Rai' basically gave the kids a bunch of alcohol, got them drunk, isolated my client and then sexually abused him," said Noaker, who works for Jeff Anderson & Associates, a St. Paul firm that specializes in sexual abuse cases involving clergy members.
Today's filing comes on the heels of two other suits that accuse Rose of abusing male students from De La Salle High School and Cretin in the 1960s and '70s. Following the announcement of those filings in February and May, several other victims have stepped forward with similar claims against Rose, according to Noaker and media reports.
"These cases are almost identical; that's what made this client call. He read about it in the newspaper and said, 'That same thing happened to me!'" said Noaker, who is also representing Rose's other Twin Cities accusers.
In 2003, Rose was accused of abusing a student in California while teaching at a school there in 1982; that suit was settled in 2004 for $1.1 million.
Officials from Dunrovin declined to comment on the alleged abuse, referring all questions to the Christian Brothers Midwest District office in Chicago.
District representatives said they were not yet prepared to comment on the latest accusations, but in May the order issued a statement condemning child abuse and saying Rose, 76, has not been in active ministry or had contact with minors since 2002.
"It has been the long-standing mission of the De La Salle Christian Brothers of the Midwest to serve and empower God's people and one another through the educational mission of the Catholic Church. Thus, given who we are, the abuse of any child is an affront to our mission and purpose, and we do not and will not tolerate such abuse," wrote Bro. Francis Carr.
Noaker said his clients want to know why the abuse was apparently tolerated before, and they are seeking compensation for the harm they suffered as a result.
"We'd like to find out what happened here. It appears as though this man was moved multiple times, time after time, after getting in trouble for molesting kids," Noaker said. "We want to learn exactly what happened here and we want some accountability from the Christian Brothers."