Salesians Lawsuit Settled

A lawsuit filed against the Salesians of Don Bosco was filed on the eve of trial for an undisclosed amount. The suit involved another Salesian from the now closed Mary Help of Christians School in Tampa. Jorge Acosta, who was only at the school for a year, molested an undetermined number of young boys while at Mary Help of Christians. Acosta at the time was a Salesian brother in charge of the dormitory area where the young students slept.
Mary Help of Christians school has been a hotbed of sexual abuse dating as far back as the 1950’s. The Salesian priests and brothers who molested the young boys groomed the victims by paying special attention to them, buying them gifts, and showering them with attention. Many of the boys came from broken homes while others were sent to the Catholic school because their parents believed that they would receive a good Catholic education. Instead, they were sexually abused and molested in the hellish atmosphere of the school. Once they were abused, they were threatened and coerced into not revealing the crimes committed against them. These young boys, some as young as 9 or 10, were left alone victimized by the very people to whom they looked for attention, guidance, and support.
Many of these survivors of sexual abuse at Mary Help of Christians have lived tortured lives, losing their faith and unable to cope with daily life. Some have come forward to reveal their history of abuse and seek justice and accountability from the Salesians and the Church who abandoned them as young boys.
Since 2002, when the Catholic priest sex abuse scandal broke wide open in Boston, I’ve heard many of these painful, heart wrenching stories. As a priest sex abuse lawyer, these stories fill me with outrage at the injustice and criminal behavior of the Salesians and other priests who’ve betrayed the trust of parishioners and their community. Lawsuits continue to be filed and we continue to seek some form of justice from the courts. We’ll continue to pursue justice until all children are free from the dangers of these criminal child sexual predators.