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Prestigious prep school settles sex abuse lawsuit filed by former students

<i>KTVT</i><br/>Jesuit College Prep was at the center of a civil suit filed by the former students.
Jesuit College Prep was at the center of a civil suit filed by the former students.

By Steve Pickett

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    DALLAS (KTVT) — A prestigious Dallas prep school agreed to provide financial compensation, issue an apology, and create a memorial as part of a settlement in a sex abuse lawsuit filed by nine former students.

Jesuit College Prep – commonly known for decades as Jesuit Dallas – was at the center of a civil suit filed by the former students.

Those students, all adult men now, sued the school, the Catholic Diocese of Dallas, and the Jesuits Southern Province, claiming they were sexually assaulted by priests at the school. The claims date back to the 1980s and 1990s.

“I have spoken with each of these men,” Jesuit Dallas President Mike Earsing, wrote in a statement released today. “I believe them. I communicated to each of them my sorrow, my own spirit of disconsolation, and an apology.”

That apology was part of the agreed settlement with the former students.

“They were believed. They were believed,” said Dallas lawyer Charla Aldous, who represented the now-adult abuse victims.

In addition to the school’s apology to the victims, Aldous confirmed there was an undisclosed financial settlement as well.

“The way the school handled this helped so much because the school never came in and said, ‘We don’t believe you.’ They enveloped our men,” Aldous said.

“It’s our belief that we wanted the victims to be believed, to apologize to them, and to know this will not happen again,” said Jesuit Dallas attorney Tom Melsheimer.

As part of the agreement, the school has agreed to list an off-campus third party contact for reporting sex abuse and to create a memorial dedicated to victims of sexual abuse involving religious leaders.

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