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Burnaby Catholic school sex-abuse allegations cite convicted Mount Cashel Christian Brother

Allegations of sexual abuse at St. Thomas More Collegiate name a Christian Brother convicted of sexual abuse in the notorious Newfoundland Mount Cashel Orphanage scandal.
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Multiple civil cases alleging clergy sexual abuse of children are now before B.C.'s courts.

A Burnaby Roman Catholic school and two Vancouver church organizations are facing further allegations of sex abuse against a student.

In a notice of civil claim filed in B.C. Supreme Court on June 6, John Drescher alleges Brother Kevin Short used his position to prey on him and sexually assault him in 1981 and 1982.

Drescher alleges Short took advantage of the fact he was vulnerable and in need of guidance at the time.

Named as defendants in the case are the Catholic Independent Schools of Vancouver Archdiocese, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Vancouver and St. Thomas More Collegiate Ltd. in Burnaby.

Short is not named as a defendant.

Drescher alleges the defendants gave Short the means and opportunity to abuse him. The claim alleges the defendants knew Short had sexually assaulted children yet did nothing to prevent the alleged actions.

In 1990, Short was convicted of indecent assault for molesting a 14-year-old student at St. Thomas More.

In 1991, he pleaded guilty to three charges of indecent assault and four charges of gross indecency relating to his earlier sexual abuse of orphans at Newfoundland’s Mount Cashel Orphanage.

Drescher’s claim alleges the defendants moved Short from city to city when further alleged sexual abuse was discovered.

Moreover, it claims, the defendants failed to report any such alleged assaults to relevant authorities, parents or guardians, and failed to investigate Short’s background and character prior to hiring him.

The claim says the defendants fostered a system where reporting of deviant sexual behaviour would be considered wrong, was wilfully blind to wrongful behaviours and failed to have a self-reporting system or counselling in place.

Drescher claims he has suffered, among other things, pain, post-traumatic stress disorder, nervous shock and humiliation, low self esteem, depression, suicidal thinking, addiction, mistrust of religious and authority figures and loss of faith. He also doesn't have the ability to form healthy relationships, states the notice of civil claim.

Spokesperson Makani Marquis said the Vancouver archdiocese couldn’t comment on the allegations as the case is before the courts.

A proposed class-action suit filed in B.C. Supreme Court in February alleges that between 1976 and 1983, the Christian Brothers transferred six abusive members from Mount Cashel Orphanage to Vancouver College and St. Thomas More Collegiate.

None of the allegations have been proven in court.

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