6/26/2013 10:35:00 AM Accuser seeks trial in alleged abuse
The late Maurice Grammond was named in another abuse lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Portland.
A Utah man wants to go to trial, seeking $12.25 million from the Archdiocese of Portland for sexual abuse that allegedly occurred three decades ago in Seaside.
Oregon Public Broadcasting reports that Scott Little, 43, claims that when he was an altar boy between ages 10 and 12, he was abused by Maurice Grammond, at that time the parish priest.
Grammond, who died in 2002 and had been removed from the priesthood, was named in many lawsuits leading up to the archdiocese's 2004 bankruptcy filing. In cases involving Grammond, which span the 1950s to the 1980s, the archdiocese and its insurers paid out $30 million as of 2007 and offered counseling and pastoral care to victims. Archbishop John Vlazny issued apologies.
As part of the archdiocese's bankruptcy, the court set a deadline for accusers to file suits that has long passed. But Oregon law allows victims to take legal action within five years of discovering that the abuse has damaged other parts of their lives. Little's attorney, Kelly Clark, says his client psychologically suppressed the abuse until last year.
Since the bankruptcy ended, other accusers have stepped forward, but have settled out of court.
The accusations come from decades ago. The archdiocese this year was again found in compliance with the U.S. bishops' charter to prevent abuse. The 2012 audit of dioceses nationwide found a drop in the number of allegations, the number of victims and the number of offenders.
Last year saw the fewest allegations and victims reported since data collection for the annual reports began in 2004. Most allegations reported last year were from the 1970s and ‘80s with many of the alleged offenders already deceased or removed from ministry in the priesthood.
Auditors found that more than 99 percent of clergy and more than 96 percent of employees and volunteers were trained in safe environment programs nationwide.