Jesuit Prep School Faces New Lawsuit Over Sexual Abuse

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Jesuit College Preparatory School in Dallas is facing a new lawsuit alleging sexual abuse. The plaintiff – a lawyer filing under the pseudonym Richard Roe – is the fourth former student to allege abuse. Also included in the list of defendants in the Catholic Diocese of Dallas. The suit says that the victim was sexually abused in the 1980s by two priests employed by the Jesuit Prep School. Those priests are the Rev. Peter Callery, a teacher and wrestling coach, and the late Rev. Patrick Koch. Koch was a former school president.

Details of the alleged abuse are included in the complaint. Roe alleges that he was molested by Koch during a confession. And he says that Callery molested him in a hotel room when the wrestling team was traveling for a match.

The plaintiff said he felt moved to step forward after seeing others do so. Remaining silent, he said, would only make him complicit in the cover-up. Few of the defendants have said much of anything substantive regarding the latest lawsuit.

Callery now lives in Louisiana and is an associate director of Manresa House of Retreats, according to the facility’s website. The lawsuit claims that Callery still has access to young boys through this work.

Koch, who died in 2006 at age 78, was found to be “credibly accused” of sexually abusing children in January. He may have had access to children through the Dallas and Corpus Christi dioceses. However, he never faced criminal charges before his death.

The “credibly accused” list is significant. Dallas Bishop Edward J. Burns has said that a priest’s designation as such means the victim’s claims would be believed.

Sexual abuse victims often face difficulties in their lives, even years after the abuse has ended. This, unfortunately, appears true for Roe as well. In his suit, he claims the abuse contributed to a failed marriage and struggles with alcoholism. He also experienced depression, self-doubt, and shame, other traits commonly shared by abuse victims. Roe is now in recovery after seeking treatment for his alcoholism.

The other lawsuits relay similarly troubling allegations of sexual abuse involving Jesuit Prep School. Former student Mike Pedevilla is one litigant who also claims Koch molested him. In another lawsuit filed in September, a third student says that Koch sexually assaulted him in a windowless closet. That abuse allegedly occurred when he was given in-school suspension for leaving the school’s campus without permission.

A fourth lawsuit accused former Jesuit priest Donald Dickerson of sexual abuse dating to the late 1970s. Dickerson, who was removed from the Jesuit order in 1986, died in 2018. His name also appeared on a credibly accused list.

The latest allegations concerning Callery detail a long history of psychological and emotional manipulation. Roe claims that Callery would become excessively angry and scream at him after losing a wrestling match. He would then switch gears and try to build the victim up through compliments. The victim’s lawyers claim this was a deliberate attempt to groom the victim for sexual abuse. This was apparently done by making the victim dependent on the priest’s approval.

During the wrestling match, when the victim was staying at a hotel, he played video games in a hotel bar. This was not allowed by prep school rules, a fact which Callery allegedly used against the victim. After molesting the boy, Callery said he would not report him for visiting the hotel lounge if he stayed silent.

Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for abusers to use manipulation to control and silence their victims. Cases like those alleged against Jesuit Prep School may go unreported for years and even decades. But when victims speak up, they have the chance to hold their abusers accountable.

Fighting for the Rights of Sexual Abuse Victims

Dalimonte Rueb represents clients who have been victimized by sexual abuse. Our firm is committed to winning the justice and compensation that victims deserve. If you or a loved one have been sexually abused, you can speak confidentially with our team. We will review your claims and advise you as to your legal options. Give us a call today about your case.

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