Photo courtesy of the Dallas Morning News

Six former students of Jesuit College Preparatory School of Dallas have come forward with allegations of abuse from their time at the school. They join a lawsuit first filed in Dallas County civil court in August 2019, bringing the number of plaintiffs to eight, The Dallas Morning News reported on Wednesday.

The lawsuit alleges that the former students were abused in the late 1970s and early 1980s by Jesuit Prep priests. The defendants in the suit are Rev. Peter Callery, Vincent Malatesta and Robert Crisp, along with three deceased priests: Rev. Patrick Koch, Rev. Donald Dickerson and Benjamin Smylie. Crisp was also included in a list of priests with credible allegations against them that was released by the Dallas diocese on January 31, 2019.

Similar allegations have been common in Jesuit and Catholic churches worldwide.

Furthermore, the lawsuit against Jesuit College Preparatory School of Dallas alleges that the Dallas diocese, Jesuit Dallas Prep and the Jesuits’ U.S. Central and Southern Province all failed to protect their students. It alleges that the bodies allowed the abuse and covered it up. 

“One of the most troubling aspects of the case is that it is evident the Jesuit Order had knowledge that some of these priests had accusations lodged against them for sexually inappropriate conduct and even abusing young boys,” stated plaintiff attorneys Charla Aldous and Brent Walker in a statement to the Dallas Morning News. “Despite these allegations, the Jesuit Order placed these priests or allowed them to remain as teachers at Jesuit Prep School in Dallas thus exposing the students to pedophiles.”

The plaintiffs, many of which are using pseudonyms, have stated that these situations caused them a significant amount of grief, with one going as far as to say that they flunked out of school purposefully. 

In response to the new allegations, Jesuit Prep president Michael A. Erasing stated in a statement that “we wish to reiterate that we continue to extend our compassion and support for all victims of sexual misconduct and abuse. As we have previously stated, it would not be appropriate to discuss the specifics of the lawsuit.”

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