Suicide Victim’s Family Sues Church

Associated Press, Apr. 19, 2003

LOS ANGELES -The parents of a suicide victim are suing the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, alleging their son killed himself last year because he remained traumatized by a Catholic school counselor’s sexual abuse decades earlier.

The wrongful-death lawsuit filed Friday in Los Angeles County Superior Court claims a despondent Richard Lukasiewicz Jr., 36, hanged himself one year ago after his admission to a psychiatric hospital.

“The horror and betrayal associated with years of sexual abuse drove Richard Jr. into severe depression,” his parents, Richard and Blanca Lukasiewicz, stated in the lawsuit. “The sexual abuse stole Richard Jr.’s youth, it took his self-esteem and drained his ability to cope.”

Attorney Raymond Boucher said the alleged abuse began during a 1979 camping trip and lasted four years. The lawsuit does not name the Roman Catholic brother allegedly involved, saying only that he was a teacher and counselor at John Bosco Technical Institute.

A spokesman for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles declined to comment, saying he had not yet seen the lawsuit.

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Religion News Blog posted this on Saturday April 19, 2003.
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