Tag: Salesians

Hope Haven New Orleans Horowitz Law

Horowitz Law Files Sex Abuse Lawsuit for Abuse at Hope Haven Boys Home in Marrero, Louisiana

 The Lawsuit Alleges Sexual Abuse by a Salesian Priest and a Notre Dame Sister Working at Hope Haven

The Suit was Filed Under a New Louisiana Law that Temporarily Suspends the Time Limits for Sexual Abuse Survivors to File Suit 

Attorneys Jessica Arbour (Horowitz Law, Ft. Lauderdale) and Jacques Bezou, Jr. (The Bezou Law Firm, Covington) announce the filing of a new child sexual abuse and coverup lawsuit in Louisiana.  The suit was recently filed on behalf of a man sexually abused as a child at Hope Haven, a church-run home for orphans and troubled children near New Orleans, Louisiana.

According to the lawsuit papers, the plaintiff was repeatedly sexually abused by Fr. Sean Leo Rooney, a Salesian priest, and Sr. Alvin Marie Hagan, during a court-ordered stay at Hope Haven in approximately 1976.  He was 14 years old.

The history of sexual abuse at Hope Haven is well documented by the media.  In 2008, 59 men filed suit against the facility (and its sister facility, Madonna Manor) for sexual abuse.  Those cases were eventually settled, as were others filed in the years that followed.  Some of those cases involved allegations of abuse by Hagan.

Rooney’s name appears on the Salesians’ list of priests credibly accused of sexual abuse.  He has also been named in lawsuits filed in New York and New Jersey.

This is believed to be the first lawsuit filed against the Salesians and School Sisters of Notre Dame under a new Louisiana law that temporarily lifted the statute of limitations in childhood sexual abuse cases. In June 2021, Louisiana lawmakers joined states across the country by opening a three-year window for survivors of child sexual abuse to file lawsuits against those responsible for their abuse. The window remains open until 2024.

Horowitz Law attorney Jessica Arbour, said, “Our client has waited a very long time for the opportunity for justice and accountability for those responsible for him when he was a vulnerable child in their care. Thanks to the dedication and action of Louisiana’s lawmakers, he finally has a chance to seek justice in a court of law.  This is an important step in his healing journey.”

For more information, click here to watch the WGNO (ABC) story on the lawsuit filing.

The case is now pending in the 19th Judicial District of Louisiana.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in Louisiana. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Louisiana, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in Louisiana now have legal options but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in Louisiana and nationwide. We can help. 

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

 

Fr. Terence O’Donnell – Diocese of St. Petersburg

Father Terence O’Donnell

Diocese of St. Petersburg/Salesian

Terence O'Donnell Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1970

Leave: 2003

Assignment History:

  • 1992-1993: Mary Help of Christians School (Tampa, FL)
  • 1994-1999: Salesian Boys and Girls Club (Boston, MA)
  • 2000-2003: Salesian Provincial House (New Rochelle, NY)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Father Terence O’Donnell:

Fr. Terence O’Donnell was ordained a priest of Don Bosco’s Salesians Order and worked as a dorm monitor at the Mary Help of Christians School in Tampa, Florida. In a 2003 lawsuit, O’Donnell was accused by two former students of Mary Help of Christians of sexually abusing them in 1992 at the age of 13 while at the boarding school.

Another former student filed a lawsuit in 2004 alleging that Fr. O’Donnell sexually abused him as a child at Mary Help of Christians. The lawsuit alleges the order knowingly allowed one of its priests to have contact with children despite allegations of molestation. When parents complained, he was reassigned to Salesian Boys and Girls Club in Boston and the Salesian Provincial House in New Rochelle, NY. O’Donnell was placed on leave in 2003 after a suit was filed.

In 1993, Fr. O’Donnell was investigated by the Florida Department of Children and Families regarding allegations of child sexual abuse. No charges were ever filed. Fr. O’Donnell is believed to be living in Dayton, Ohio. His status as a priest and whether he has access to children are unknown.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of St. Petersburg in Florida.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Florida, contact our office today. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in Florida and nationwide. We can help. 

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

Br. John Casula – Diocese of St. Petersburg

Brother John Casula

Diocese of St. Petersburg/Salesian

John Casula Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1941

Died: 1994

Assignment History:

  • 1970s: Mary Help of Christians (Tampa, FL)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Brother John Casula:

In 2016, Brother John Casula was accused in a lawsuit of sexually abusing a 12-year-old boy in 1976-1978 at Mary Help of Christians, a boarding school for disadvantaged children in Tampa FL. The victim claims that when he was a boy, Br. Casula was the school’s auto shop instructor, would approach him and direct him to the shop, to show him all of the interesting engines and projects his students were working on. Eventually, the abuse began in the back of the shop and spanned two years. According to the suit, another student also accused Br. Casula in 1977, but the Salesians did not call the police.

Although Brother John Casula died in 1994, the lawsuit names the Salesians of Don Bosco, a Catholic order dedicated to helping disadvantaged children. It is the latest lawsuit against the now-defunct 140-acre boarding school documenting child sexual abuse by priests and brothers of the order.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of St. Petersburg in Florida.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Florida, contact our office today. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in Florida and nationwide. We can help. 

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

Br. William Michael Burke – Diocese of St. Petersburg

Br. William Michael Burke

Diocese of St. Petersburg/Salesian

William Michael Burke Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1993

Suspended: 2002

Assignment History:

  • Mary Help of Christians School (Tampa, FL)
  • Marian Shrine and Don Bosco Retreat Center (Stony Point, NY)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Brother William Michael Burke:

Br. William Michael Burke was a Salesian brother that worked in the Diocese of St. Petersburg and in New York.  In 2002, a civil suit was filed by a man alleging that Br. Burke sexually abused him from 1986-1987 while attending Mary Help of Christians School in Tampa, FL. According to the lawsuit, Br. Burke kissed the victim, touched his buttocks with his hands through his clothing, and touched the victim’s groin. The abuse was initially reported in 1989, but nothing was ever done about it.

The Florida statute of limitations for suing the Salesians of Don Bosco over Brother William Burke’s alleged actions had passed, and Burke was not charged. He was working in a New York religious center until his suspension in 2002.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of St. Petersburg in Florida.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Florida, contact our office today. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in Florida and nationwide. We can help. 

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

Br. Jorge Acosta – Diocese of St. Petersburg

Brother Jorge Acosta

Diocese of St. Petersburg/Salesian

Jorge Acosta Horowitz Law

Ordained: Unknown

Left: 1983

Assignment History:

  • 1982-1983: Mary Help of Christians School (Tampa, FL)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Brother Jorge Acosta:

In 2005, two men filed civil suits against the Salesians and Mary Help of Christians School in Tampa, accusing Brother Jorge Acosta of sexually abusing them when they were students in 1983. Acosta then admitted having sexual relations with at least three students that year, when he was a teacher and cleric at the school. Sure enough, in 2008, the third victim filed suit against Acosta.

The victim was a 7th grader at the time of abuse in 1983. He claims Br. Acosta, who taught his music class and supervised his all-boys dormitory, sexually abused him on more than 20 occasions. According to the suit, Acosta was allowed to remain at the school, even after the principal was aware of the allegations. Charges were never filed due to the statute of limitations. Acosta left the priesthood in 1983 and pursued a career in acting and singing before admitting in a sworn deposition to having sexual relations at the school.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of St. Petersburg in Florida.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Florida, contact our office today. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in Florida and nationwide. We can help. 

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

Fr. Richard P. Presenti – Archdiocese of San Francisco

Father Richard P. Presenti

Archdiocese of San Francisco/Salesians

Richard Presenti Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1968

Assignment History:

  • 1960-1968: Camp Salesian (Middletown, CA)
  • 1968-1974: Salesian High School (Richmond, CA)
  • 1974-1980: St. John Bosco High School (Bellflower, CA)
  • 1980-1989: Salesian Provincial Residence (San Francisco, CA)
  • 1989-2000: St. John Bosco High School (Bellflower, CA)
  • 2000-2010: Unknown
  • 2004-2006: St. Francis Central Coast Catholic High School (Watsonville, CA)
  • 2010-Present: Salesian Provincial House (San Francisco, CA)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Father Richard Presenti:

Fr. Richard Presenti was a Salesian brother that has been named in at least four lawsuits alleging child sexual abuse. In 1992, a man reported to the Salesians that Presenti had sexually abused him when he was 12 years old at Camp Salesian back in 1962. According to media reports, two other men have also accused Presenti of sexually abusing them as children while at Camp Salesian in approximately 1972 or 1973. This allegation was brought to the San Francisco Provincial House Superior at the time of the incident, who convinced the boy’s parents not to go to the police. He reassured them that Presenti would be kept away from children. The boy discovered that Presenti was working at his high school when he started as a ninth-grader there the next year.

In 2003, Presenti admitted to sexually abusing one of the men at Camp Salesian. Presenti worked in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles at St. John Bosco High School in Bellflower for approximately 17 years. He resided at the Salesian Provincial House in San Francisco from 2000 to 2010.

In 2019, Presenti was included on the Diocese of Oakland list of clergy credibly accused of child sexual abuse.

Presenti’s current whereabouts, his status as a priest, and whether he has access to children are unknown.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Archdiocese of San Francisco in California. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in one of California’s Catholic dioceses, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Archdiocese of San Francisco now have legal options due to a voluntary compensation fund created by the Archdiocese of San Francisco, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in California and nationwide. We can help. 

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

Br. Dan (Dailo) Pacheco – Archdiocese of San Francisco

Br. Dan (Dailo) Pacheco

Archdiocese of San Francisco/Salesians

Dan Pacheco Horowitz Law

Ordained: Unknown

Died: 2005

Assignment History:

  • 1984-2005: Salesian High School (Richmond, CA)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Brother Dan (Dailo) Pacheco:

Br. Dan (Danilo) Pacheco was a member of the Salesian religious order. He worked within the Archdiocese of San Francisco and the Diocese of Oakland. According to media reports, Pacheco was accused of sexually abusing innocent victims while assigned at Salesian High School in Richmond, CA, and another Southern California Catholic high school.

Information about the age/gender of his alleged victim/victims or the nature of the alleged sexual abuse is unknown. Pacheco died in 2005.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Archdiocese of San Francisco in California. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in one of California’s Catholic dioceses, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Archdiocese of San Francisco now have legal options due to a voluntary compensation fund created by the Archdiocese of San Francisco, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in California and nationwide. We can help. 

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

Fr. Stephen Whelan – Diocese of Oakland

Father Stephen Whelan

Diocese of Oakland/Salesians

Stephen Whelan Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1969

Removed: 2003

Assignment History:

  • 1970: Salesian High School (Richmond, CA)
  • 1971-1978: St. John Bosco High School (Bellflower, CA)
  • 1979-1980: St. Francis Junior High School (Watsonville, CA)
  • 1981-1983: Unknown
  • 1984-2005: SS. Peter and Paul (San Francisco, CA)
  • 2006-2008: Salesian Provincial Residence (San Francisco, CA)
  • 2009-2016: Berkeley Salesians of Don Bosco (Berkeley, CA)
  • 2017-2018: Unknown

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Father Stephen Whelan:

Fr. Stephen Whelan is a Salesian priest who worked in several California dioceses, including the Diocese of Oakland and Archdiocese of San Francisco. According to media reports, in 2003, Whelan was accused in a civil lawsuit of sexually abusing a child from 1970 to 1971 at St. John Bosco High School in Richmond, California. The accuser stated that Br. Billante saw the whole thing and did not report it. He was found guilty and was removed from ministry immediately following the verdict.

In 2019, Whelan was included on the Diocese of Oakland list of clergy credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor.

Whelan was sent to a provincial house in Berkeley, California, where he still resides today.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Oakland in California. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in California, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Oakland now have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in California and nationwide. We can help. 

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

Br. John Vas – Diocese of Oakland

Brother John Vas

Diocese of Oakland/Salesian

John Vas Horowitz Law

Ordained: Unknown

Assignment History:

  • 1959-1967: Salesian High School (Richmond, CA)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Brother John Vas:

Br. John Vas was a member of the Salesians religious order who worked in the Diocese of Oakland and San Francisco. According to media reports, in 2008, a woman accused Vas of sexually abusing her for approximately seven years beginning in the 1960s when she was seven years old at Salesian High School in Richmond, California, where Vas was the band instructor. Vas has reportedly been accused of sexually abusing at least one other person.

According to media reports, in 2018, Vas was part of a group of clergy members accused of molesting boys at Salesian schools in the 1950s to 1960s.

As of 2008, Vas was living in Florida with his wife of 38 years.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Oakland in California. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in California, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Oakland now have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in California and nationwide. We can help. 

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

Fr. Richard Presenti – Diocese of Oakland

Father Richard Presenti

Diocese of Oakland/Salesians

Richard Presenti Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1968

Assignment History:

  • 1960-1968: Camp Salesian (Middletown, CA)
  • 1968-1974: Salesian High School (Richmond, CA)
  • 1974-1980: St. John Bosco High School (Bellflower, CA)
  • 1980-1989: Salesian Provincial Residence (San Francisco, CA)
  • 1989-2000: St. John Bosco High School (Bellflower, CA)
  • 2000-2010: Unknown
  • 2004-2006: St. Francis Central Coast Catholic High School (Watsonville, CA)
  • 2010-Present: Salesian Provincial House (San Francisco, CA)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Father Richard Presenti:

Fr. Richard Presenti was a Salesian brother that has been named in at least four lawsuits alleging child sexual abuse. In 1992, a man reported to the Salesians that Presenti had sexually abused him when he was 12 years old at Camp Salesian in 1962. Two other men have also accused Presenti of sexually abusing them as children while at Camp Salesian in approximately 1972 or 1973, which was brought to the San Francisco Provincial House Superior at the time of the incident, who convinced the boy’s parents not to go to the police. He reassured them that Presenti would be kept from children. The boy discovered that Presenti was working at his high school when he started as a ninth-grader there the following year.

In 2003, Presenti admitted to sexually abusing one of the men at Camp Salesian. Presenti worked in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles at St. John Bosco High School in Bellflower for approximately 17 years. He resided at the Salesian Provincial House in San Francisco from 2000 to 2010.

In 2019, Presenti was included on the Diocese of Oakland list of clergy credibly accused of child sexual abuse.

Presenti’s current whereabouts, his status as a priest, and whether he has access to children are unknown.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Oakland in California. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in California, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Oakland now have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in California and nationwide. We can help. 

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.