Man Awarded $1.2 Million in Sex Abuse Case

Article excerpt

A St. Louis jury has awarded nearly $1.2 million in damages to a man who claimed that a St. Louis Catholic priest sexually abused him as a boy.

In an unrelated case, the investigation of child sex abuse charges against former Catholic priest Edward McKeown in Nashville, Tenn., has widened to include a second former clergyman.

Henry Bachmann said March 1 that the St. Louis jury award fulfills the second of two goals he and his wife had for suing the archdiocese. The first goal was to get an admission from the now-retired Fr. James Gummersbach that Gummersbach had sodomized Bachmann nearly 35 years ago when Bachmann was 13.

It was unclear whether that goal was met after Bachmann and the lawyers for the priest reached a confidential settlement Feb. 23. Bachmann said he pressed on with his case against the archdiocese for allegedly failing to supervise the priest.

Bachmann had claimed that he repressed all memory of being molested until 1992 when a harsh reprimand from his boss brought back the memories.

The jury of seven women and five men deliberated for about five and a half hours before awarding Bachmann $498,280 in actual damages and an identical amount in punitive damages. …