NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - A new lawsuit filed against Jesuit High School alleges that payments made to victims of sex abuse were paid from donations from school benefactors.
The plaintiff, who is identified in the lawsuit as Jayson Doe, says Jesuit failed to investigate and report multiple claims of sexual abuse by former employee Pete Modica.
Modica, who passed way in 1993, was accused of sexually assaulting multiple victims during his time as a janitor at Jesuit High School and playground supervisor at Metairie playground in the 60s and 70s.
Doe claims that Modica sexually assaulted him multiple times when he was 13-years-old.
In the lawsuit, the plaintiff states that he believes that settlements paid to sex abuse victims were paid with money from benefactors such as alumni, parents and other members of the Jesuit community without their knowledge. It is also believed that payments have not been reported by the school’s president in any financial reports.
The plaintiff also accuses Jesuit of harassing and antagonizing him.
John Denenea, who represents the plaintiff in the lawsuit released a statement saying,
“Not so long ago our client was a heralded athlete at Jesuit High School, and so he sought an amicable method of dealing with the sexual assault he suffered while an eighth grader with those in charge at Jesuit, only to be verbally attacked and bullied in return. What kind of warped educational institution does that to its students?”
Jesuit High School responded to the lawsuit saying,
“The school is aware that a lawsuit has been field describing actions alleged to have occurred more than 40 years ago. We received the claim when it was first brought forward out of pastoral concern and in keeping with school policy. But, as with any claim, we have the responsibility to thoroughly assess the efficacy and legitimacy of the claim. In keeping with the aforementioned policy, we do not comment on pending litigation.”
Last year, the Archdiocese of New Orleans released a list of clergymen credibly accused of sexual abuse. Since, the release of the list, many victims have come forward and filed lawsuits against the Archdiocese of New Orleans and Jesuit High School.