Three Men File Sex Abuse Lawsuit Against Dead Priest’s Archdiocese

Joshua Gill | Religion Reporter

Three men filed a lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Portland over alleged childhood sexual abuse they suffered at the hands of a now deceased priest.

The three men, identified in court documents only as J.B., S.R., and S.F., alleged that Father Pius Brazauskas sexually abused them between the late 1970s and early 1980s when they served as altar boys at Holy Redeemer Church in North Bend, Ore., according to KEZI9.  The lawsuit, filed Wednesday, alleged that Brazauskas abused them when they were between the ages of 5 and 12 by groping their genitals, pressing up against them, and french kissing them, according to Oregon Live.

Brazaukas’ obituary in The Oregonian said he retired in 1980 but remained involved in the church until his death in 1990 at age 84. He was known as “Dr. Bubblegum” to children in the church since he always had candy or gum to give them and considered children a “special delight,” according to Oregon Live.

Though the alleged abuse occurred decades ago, Oregon law allows the plaintiffs, now in their 40s, to pursue the lawsuit since they only recognized the trauma of the alleged abuse they suffered within the last 5 years. Peter Janci, one of the attorneys for the plaintiffs, told Oregon Live he does not know of any other allegations of sexual abuse that have ever been levied against Brazauskas.

The lawsuit also names Alexander K. Sample, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Portland, as a defendant. The three men are asking for $3 million each in damages and $20 million in punitive damages.

Officials with the Archdiocese have not issued a response to the allegations but said that they are studying the lawsuit, according to KEZI9.

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