INDIANAPOLIS – Two new victims have come forward claiming they were sexually abused by Father James Grear. They said it happened while he was an English teacher and the dean of students at Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School in Indianapolis.
The lawsuits, filed in Marion County, claim two adult men were sexually assaulted in 1974 and 1975 while they were between the ages of 12 and 13.
The two claim Grear would buy them gifts and took them on trips. He also took them to his apartment where sexual contact took place.
Brebeuf's president has issued a letter to families in the school's community. He said both USA Midwest Jesuit Province and the school have not been notified of any allegation against Grear while he was an employee. The president added the school has a zero-tolerance policy on the issue and even gave contact information to anyone who suspected their loved ones were abused.
The school was not named in the lawsuit, but The Roman Catholic Diocese of Lafayette in Indiana, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, and Grear were all named as defendants.
The two accusers said the diocese knew about Grear and moved him to the church in Carmel to help cover it up.
A man has filed a lawsuit claiming in the 1980s that he was sexually assaulted the Our Lady of Mount Carmel's gymnasium. This was the first lawsuit filed accusing Grear was sexual abuse.
"Most victims never come forward and when there is one courageous victim, many more come forward," said Tim Lennon, a survivor of sexual abuse and the president of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP). "One example is one gymnast comes forward and then followed by 500 more."
All three lawsuits name the same parties as defendants, and they include 100 unidentified employees who they said also worked to cover up Grear's actions.
Lennon said the church's actions are consistent with what other employees have done across the country.
"It’s not unusual," he said. "It’s not unheard of. We’ve seen these consistent practices of church officials on both coasts, covering up of the sexual abuse of hundreds of victims."
Lennon said anyone wanting to report sexual abuse can call the SNAP office or Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN).
Earlier this month, the Indiana Attorney General's Office began an online form for Hoosiers to report clergy abuse. A spokesperson at the office said the form has been used eight times since it went online.