Three lawsuits alleging child sexual abuse were filed Thursday against four Minnesota priests, including one priest whose name has not been previously linked to pedophilia.
One of the suits alleges that the Rev. Ramon Jerome Buckley, a new name in the sex abuse scandal rocking the Catholic Church, sexually abused an altar boy at Sacred Heart Parish in Robbinsdale during the late 1970s.
According to the suit filed against the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, Buckley sexually assaulted the boy in the parish office, including performing oral sex on him. The boy was between 12 and 14 years old, the suit says.
The suit, filed in Ramsey County District Court, alleges that when Buckley left the church and was replaced by the Rev. John McGrath, McGrath continued to abuse the boy for another two years. McGrath also had served in parishes in St. Paul and Minneapolis.
Both priests are deceased.
“The horror of a young boy being raped by two priests is almost unimaginable,” said Pat Noaker, a Minneapolis attorney representing the victims.
Another person, the third so far this year, Noaker said, has filed suit against the Rev. William Marks, a priest at St. John’s Catholic Church in Hector in 1959. The most recent suit is on behalf of a then-10-year-old boy who mowed lawns and delivered newspapers to St. John’s, which was near the boy’s home. Court papers say that for two years Marks forced the boy to masturbate and perform oral sex on him in the church rectory.
Marks, now deceased, was employed by the archdiocese and the Diocese of New Ulm from 1948 to 1979, Noaker said. The complainant died just days before his case was filed in court, he said.
“He was tormented by what happened,” said Noaker, “and we believe his life was cut short by his abuse.”
The Rev. Michael Skoblik is named in the third lawsuit, which alleges that Skoblik sexually abused a boy (10 or 11 at the time) at the Church of St. Joseph in Silver Lake in 1968, including “performing violent and masochistic acts.”
The lawsuit, filed against the Diocese of New Ulm, is the third against Skoblik in the past month. Attorney Jeff Anderson of St. Paul filed a lawsuit last month on behalf of two former altar boys who say they were sexually abused by Skoblik at the same parish. Skoblik died in 1989.