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Abused In Wisconsin

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St. John's School for the Deaf




St. John's School for the Deaf From 1950 to 1974, St. John's School for the Deaf in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee was the scene of one of the most horrific sexual abuse episodes ever to unfold in a school setting. The Archdiocese was repeatedly warned that Father Lawrence Murphy was hurting the deaf children but the Archbishops allowed Murphy to remain at St. John's. In 1974, when several courageous survivors went to the police, the Archdiocese moved Father Murphy to the Diocese of Superior in Northern Wisconsin where he served for the next 25 years, was allowed to work with children, and subsequently sexually abused again.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Report 2006

In 2006, a series of articles by reporter Mary Zahn in the Milwaukee Sentinel Journal chronicled the tragic sexual invasion of Father Lawrence Murphy into the lives of hundreds of vulnerable and innocent students at St John's. Read the articles here:
http://www.bishop-accountability.org/news2006/03_04/2006_03_26_Zahn_SharedSecrets.htm

John Doe 16

Father Lawrence Murphy In the 1990's, many of Father Murphy's victims began to break their silence and report their abuse to the Archdiocese. Among those who reported was “John Doe 16”. John Doe 16, now an adult, and a survivor of childhood sexual abuse at the hands of Father Murphy at St. John's School for the Deaf, reported the abuse to Archbishop Weakland in 1994 and began a several year quest to have the Vatican hold the abuser accountable and remove him from the priesthood. After much back and forth between Catholic officials in Rome and the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, Murphy was never held accountable, never removed from the priesthood and when he died in 1998 Murphy was dressed in full vestments and a funeral mass was presided by Auxiliary Bishop Richard Sklba.

New York Times Report 2010

In March, 2010, an article by Laurie Goodstein and David Callender in the New York Times reported on the Murphy debacle: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/27/us/27wisconsin.html

John Doe 16 v. Holy See

Classroom In April of 2010, after years of dealing with a life time of severe emotional distress from his abuse as a child, John Doe 16, represented by Jeff Anderson and associates, filed a lawsuit in United States District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Division. The law suit, titled "John Doe 16 v. Holy See" names Pope Benedict and two of his top aides as defendants.

The suit alleges that the pope, in an earlier role before his election, and other Vatican officials failed to discipline Murphy in the 1990s when US Church officials discovered the abuse, reported it to the Vatican and wanted him defrocked.

The filing of the lawsuit, is the second such filed by Jeff Anderson and Associates on behalf of a victim of clergy abuse.

CNN Documentary: John Doe 16 Breaks His Silence

Terry Kohut In September of 2010, just a short time after filing his lawsuit against the Holy See, Terry Kohut, AKA John Doe 16, broke his almost 50 years of silence and spoke to CNN about the sexual abuse he suffered as a child at St. John's School for the Deaf. Click Here for CNN Documentary

Later that year, Terry Kohut and fellow St John's victim of Father Murphy, Steve Geier, were featured in the magazine Deaf Life. http://www.deafpeople.com/dp_of_month/kohut.html

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