Survivor Was Repeatedly Abused by Brother Tony Holmes While Living at the Nazareth Child Care Center in Jamaica Plain
BOSTON (July 17, 2017) — AJ, a survivor of child sex abuse who lives in New York City, today filed a lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Boston for abuse he suffered while living at the Archdiocese’s Nazareth Child Care Center in Jamaica Plain. The lawsuit outlines sexual abuse allegations against Brother Edward Anthony “Tony” Holmes, a now-convicted pedophile who worked at Nazareth and who preyed on at least two other children there. The lawsuit was filed in Suffolk County Superior Court by attorneys from Lawyers Helping Survivors of Child Sex Abuse.
“It’s very difficult for me to talk or even think about what happened at Nazareth, but I’ve decided to come forward to give hope to other victims and let them know that they are not alone,” said AJ. “Nothing will eliminate the pain and suffering that I experienced while at Nazareth, but this should send a message that pedophiles and those who supported them will be held accountable, no matter when the abuse occurred.”
The Nazareth Child Care Center was a residential program run by the Boston Archdiocese for children who had been removed from their homes and were waiting to enter foster care. AJ began living at Nazareth in 1975 when he was eight years old. While there, he was taught and counseled by Br. Tony Holmes, who was a member of the Sacred Hearts Catholic religious order and a supervisor of one of the dormitories at Nazareth.
In the complaint, Jones describes the abuse, saying:
“During our photography class, Br. Tony took AJ and two other boys into the photography darkroom located on Nazareth property to develop film. While in the darkroom, Br. Holmes sexually assaulted AJ and the other two boys. There were other times that Br. Tony would take AJ into the darkroom alone and sexually assault me. Br. Tony also sexually assaulted AJ at his home in Fairhaven [which was located on the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts’ property] and while on school camping trips in the White Mountains in New Hampshire. Br. Tony also forced AJ to be sexually assaulted by a former resident of Nazareth, while Br. Tony watched and masturbated.”
“Brother Tony told AJ that he was the one who decided whether AJ ever got to leave Nazareth,” explained Minneapolis attorney Patrick Noaker, of Noaker Law Firm. “This is how Br. Tony was able to coerce AJ into submission. He preyed upon Andre’s hope that someday he would be able to return home.”
“Br. Tony took advantage of children when they were most vulnerable and most in need of support. Instead of helping them, he threatened and abused them,” said attorney Jerry Kristal, of Weitz & Luxenberg. “It has taken AJ years upon years to begin to understand the harm that was caused by Br. Tony’s abuse and coercion.”
In 2006, Br. Holmes pleaded guilty to 17 charges related to his sexual assaults at Nazareth, including one count of child pornography for photographs he took of children who were residents there in the 1970s. He was sentenced to five years in prison for his crimes.
“This man tore a swath through this community that is impossible to fathom,” said Boston attorney Kim Dougherty, of Andrus Wagstaff PC. “It is heartbreaking to consider the number of kids who were subjected to Br. Tony’s abuses at Nazareth during the 1970s and 1980s.”
“I hope that any other child who was subjected to Br. Tony’s sexual abuse and coercion will get the help that they need and deserve,” said Coeur D’Alene attorney Craig Vernon, of James Vernon & Weeks P.A. “While it is common for sexual abuse survivors to take decades to begin to understand the real damage caused by the trauma of sexual abuse, it is never too late to get help.”
Lawyers Helping Survivors of Child Sex Abuse
Lawyers Helping Survivors of Child Sex Abuse was formed to give sexual abuse victims the strongest legal representation possible. The nearly 500-member powerhouse firm of Weitz & Luxenberg P.C. joined forces with national sex abuse firms James, Vernon & Weeks, P.A. and Noaker Law Firm LLC to create a forceful and cohesive team of attorneys to fight for sexual abuse victims. www.childsexabuse.org