(Cape May Point, NJ – January 8, 2021) A woman has filed a lawsuit against the Marianist Family Retreat Center in Cape May Point, New Jersey, and the Marianist (Society of Mary) Province of the United States religious order relating to sexual abuse she endured when she was a 14-year-old volunteer at the Retreat Center during the summer of 1974. According to the lawsuit, the 14-yeear-old girl was repeatedly sexually abused by Marianist priest Fr. John J. Sheehan, the director of the Retreat Center, and Marianist brother Br. Albert Koch, the maintenance man at the Retreat Center.
According to the woman’s attorney Patrick Noaker, “This lawsuit is very concerning, not only because a young girl was sexually abused, but also because the Marianists covered-up their knowledge of the abuse occurring at a retreat center that hosted hundreds of children and families every year. This girl reported the sexual abuse to the Marianists in 2005 and the Marianists took no action. Even though Fr. Sheehan appears to have been removed as the Director of the Retreat Center in the 1980’s, Br. Albert Koch remained there through 2020. It was not until 2020 that the Marianists revealed that Fr. Sheehan had been credibly accused of sexual abusing a child and they have never publicly acknowledged that Br. Albert Koch has been accused. Basically, families have been in the position to have exposed their children to someone who has been accused of child sexual abuse without knowing it. I think that it is reasonable to expect more from our institutions that serve children and families.”
Contact: Patrick Noaker cell (612) 839-1080; firstname.lastname@example.org