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Mar 05,2009
Jesuits' accusers gather in Portland
by UPI

PORTLAND, Ore. - People from Idaho, Oregon and Washington who claim they were sexually abused by Jesuits gathered in Portland this week.

The Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus filed for bankruptcy on Feb. 17. Plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the order met Tuesday with M. Vivienne Popperl, a lawyer whose responsibilities include selecting a creditors' committee to represent the group of accusers in bankruptcy proceedings, The Portland Oregonian reported.

Some of the accusers also told their stories to the newspaper.

Alberta Sena, like many in the group, is an American Indian who grew up on the Nez Perce Reservation in Idaho. She described being fondled by a grandfatherly priest when she was 8 or 9 years old.

"It takes a lot of strength and courage to come forward," she said. "To those who haven't yet ... it's OK. Strength comes in different forms."

Two brothers now in their 60s described being molested decades ago by a Jesuit priest affiliated with Seattle University. He would come to dinner at their house, they said, and figure out ways to get the boys alone.

© 2009 United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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