Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Claims alleging sex abuse rise to 19

The Associated Press

LOUISVILLE - The number of claims alleging sexual abuse at an orphanage run by Roman Catholic nuns has risen to 19 this week.

The suits, filed in Jefferson County Circuit Court, allege sexual and physical abuse at the now-closed St. Thomas-St. Vincent Orphanage in Anchorage. The suits claim the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth committed abuse and tolerated abuse by others from the 1950s through the 1970s. The Sisters of Charity operated the orphanage, which was owned by the Archdiocese of Louisville.

Four women joined a pending suit Tuesday, echoing allegations made by 14 other plaintiffs already a part of the proceedings. Another woman filed a separate suit Monday.

Four women came forward with new allegations Tuesday - three were added to a pending suit and another filed suit separately. The four women, Cynthia Sadler, Gail Miller, Veronica Aubrey and Theresa Elzy, claim they were abused by Monsignor Herman J. Lammers, who was resident chaplain at the orphanage, and a Sister Joseph Michael, during the 1950s and 1960s.

. Lammers died in 1986.

The women joined suit with 12 other plaintiffs represented by attorney William McMurry.

Attorney Victor Tackett Jr. filed a separate suit on behalf of Barbara Moseley, 53, alleging that Lammers sexually abused her and that four nuns physically abused her.

Barbara Qualls, spokeswoman for the Sisters of Charity, said the order had no record of complaints about such abuse until recently. She said the order reiterated "its concern for these individuals" bringing the suits but declined to comment on specifics.

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