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Forum staff reports, Published March 10 2010

Teacher sex-abuse case to continue after ruling

A Cass County judge has denied the initial attempts to dismiss a lawsuit alleging that a former Shanley High School teacher sexually abused a 14-year-old student there in the 1970s.

The lawsuit filed last fall by David Gaffaney accuses Brother Raimond Rose, a member of a Chicago order called Christian Brothers of the Midwest, of abusing him while he was sleeping on a school-sponsored trip to Orlando, Fla., in 1977.

Gaffaney claims that the Christian Brothers knew of complaints about Rose for years before he taught at Shanley during the 1970s. He faults the order, as well as the diocese and Shanley, for not disclosing the prior accusations.

Lawyers representing the Catholic Diocese of Fargo, Shanley and Bishop Samuel Aquila had asked Cass County District Judge John Irby to dismiss the lawsuit on several grounds at a hearing March 3.

Irby ruled against most of the motions, sending the case forward, said Patrick Noaker, an attorney who represents Gaffaney.

Irby did rule that Bishop Samuel Aquila couldn’t be included as a co-defendant because he wasn’t bishop at the time of the alleged incident, Noaker said.

Rose has been accused of sexually abusing children in 10 lawsuits in Minnesota and three in North Dakota, the 10th Minnesota lawsuit being filed earlier this week. Rose has not been convicted of any crimes linked to the allegations made in those civil claims.