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Priest Blamed For Teen’s Suicide

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Donald and Rosemary Teeman, parents of Brian Teeman,  have filed a lawsuit in Jackson County Court, Missouri, against the Diocese of Kansas City – St. Joseph, Monsignor Thomas O’Brien, alleging officials at the Diocese did not ‘admonish’ the Monsignor until 25 years after Brian committed suicide, after being repeatedly sexually abused by the priest.

The lawsuit says,   “On several occasions, Msgr. O’Brien forced decedent and three other boys into the changing area in the sacristy at Nativity Church. He would shove them into the rack on which the robes were hung and make them perform oral sex and mutual masturbation on each other, then require them to perform those acts on him. Following the sexual encounters, he would require them to change into their robes, prepare communion, and serve at the Mass.”

The Teeman’s also said in the lawsuit that  “Defendant O’Brien forced silence on the decedent and the other boys by telling them that they would be kicked out of the Catholic Church, they would go directly to hell and their parents would disown them. He reinforced those statements in the confessional.”

Complaints against the priest started in 1972, the lawsuit says, and that  “In 2008, approximately 40 years after Msgr. O’Brien was first admonished for sexually abusing boys, the Diocese issued a statement that he is performing no duties on behalf of the Diocese,” Courthouse News reported.

Brian’s parents said they only recently discovered the abuse their son endured, and that due to the nature of the abuse, the statute of limitations should not apply.   “Defendants acted with depraved hearts knowing harm would occur, including the damages to plaintiffs described herein and other similarly situated children…Defendants knew or should have known this outrageous behavior would cause emotional distress to the families of the victims, including plaintiffs. … Defendants’ conduct communicated to plaintiffs and other victims that their conduct was proper and that legal action was not necessary. Therefore, defendants knew or should have known, that their actions would silence plaintiffs and other victims, prevent them from discovering their injuries, their complaints or possible other complaints or victims, and ultimately exacerbate their emotional distress and trauma. Defendants should therefore be estopped from asserting any defense that plaintiffs’ action is not timely because defendants individually and in concert with each other, fraudulently concealed the wrongfulness of defendant O’Brien’s, and other priests’ conduct and the causal relationship of the harm suffered by plaintiffs.”

The Teemans seek punitive damages from the Diocese and O’Brien, for fraud and conspiracy, breach of duty, fraudulent misrepresentation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence, failure to supervise, wrongful death and sexual abuse of a child. disclaimer: This article: Priest Blamed For Teen’s Suicide was posted on Thursday, September 8th, 2011 at 7:40 pm at and is filed under Personal Injury Lawsuits.

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