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California Man Explains in Lawsuit How Jesuit Priest Abused Him for More Than 40 Years

— January 1, 2020

The accused Jesuit, Donald J. McGuire, died in prison two years ago, serving a 25-year sentence for abusing other young boys.

On Monday, a California man filed a lawsuit against an infamous Jesuit priest, claiming he’d abused him more than 1,000 times in numerous counties, cities and states.

According to The Hill, the suit was filed by Robert J. Goldberg in a California state court. In his complaint, Goldberg—now 61—recalls how he first met the Rev. Donald J. McGuire in Chicago. Goldberg says he was molested from the age of 11 into adulthood, even as he worked as McGuire’s valet.

McGuire, notes The Hill, died in prison two years ago; he’d been serving a 25-year sentence for abusing other boys in his charge.

Although Goldberg’s suit doesn’t yet list any defendants, his attorneys say they’re planning to allege abuses by the U.S. branch of the Jesuit order, as well as its top representative in the Vatican. Goldberg’s lawyers claim that McGuire’s criminal tendencies weren’t unknown to high-ranking Catholic officials, who covered for the reverend rather than reporting him to law enforcement.

Goldberg says he was coerced into having an inappropriate relationship with he reverend. In an interview with The Associated Press, Goldberg said his mother was dependent on the $300 to $500 per week McGuire paid him to work as a valet.

“He was very controlling. I had no say whatsoever,” Goldberg told The A.P. “Whatever he told my mother he wanted me to do, I had to do it.”

Catholic clergy scandals have cost the Church billions of dollars since the beginning of the 21st century. Image via Pictures of Money/Flickr. (CCA-2.0).

And indeed, McGuire seems to have held Goldberg captive for decades. The two first met in Chicago in 1970, when McGuire and his disabled sister were sister outside a roadside tavern, waiting for their mother to come out.

McGuire, says The Associated Press, happened by, offering the whole family a ride home.

For the next 40 years, Goldberg remained bound to McGuire—he even testified on the Jesuit’s behalf when the reverend was standing trial for child sex abuse. Today, though, Goldberg says he’s finally free of McGuire’s influence. Now he’s ready to both tell his story and challenge the institutions be believes enabled a predator.

While McGuire spent years calling Goldberg his “protégé,” Goldberg says he was enduring daily abuse, which included “sexual touching, oral copulation and anal penetration.” If and when Goldberg refused to do as McGuire asked, he’d be locked in a room, alone and for hours at stretch.

McGuire, too, would use abuse as a punishment—Goldberg told The Associated Priest how, after getting into an accident in the reverend’s car, McGuire let him “atone” by performing a series of sexual favors.

“There’s a lot of things I remember, and a lot of things I try not to remember,” Goldberg said.

Many of McGuire’s other “proteges” eventually came forward with similar stories. McGuire was removed from active ministry in 2007, then defrocked the following year. In 2012, another Jesuit priest—Rev. Bradley M. Schaeffer—apologized for not doing enough to stop McGuire when he might’ve had the chance.

“I deeply regret that my actions were not enough to prevent him from engaging in these horrific crimes,” Schaeffer said. “We are deeply sorrowful.”

The details of Goldberg’s suit are expected to emerge as the case begins taking shape against specific individuals and organizations.

For the time being, the Jesuits’ Midwest Province told The A.P., when asked, that they had no comment on the impending lawsuit.


Lawsuit: Famed Jesuit abused boy 1,000 times around world

Lawsuit: Jesuit priest abused boy ‘more than 1,000 times, in multiple states and countries’

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