Beaumont Diocese Sued over Priest Who Allegedly Abused Teen in 1976

Categories: Courts

parish predateors.jpg
Did Beaumont Catholic superiors protect a pedophile priest?
A Dallas County man is suing the Roman Catholic Diocese of Beaumont, and Bishop Curtis Guillory, over sexual abuse the man allegedly suffered by a now-deceased priest in 1976-1977.

According to the suit filed last week in Jefferson County District Court, the man -- identified as John Doe 104 -- claims that Father Ronald W. Bollich performed oral sex on the plaintiff, and requested that the plaintiff perform oral sex on him as well, when the plaintiff was in his early teens.

Bollich, who died in 1996 at age 59, was ordained by the Diocese of Galveston-Houston (now an Archdiocese) in 1964 and went to work in the Beaumont Diocese upon its 1966 founding, according to the suit. He was serving in the Tyler Diocese at the time of his death.

The suit claims that Bollich "had a psychosexual disorder characterized by an abnormal, impulsive sexual attraction to young teenage boys" and that the defendants "knew or should have known that his psychosexual disorder rendered him unfit for a position of trust and confidence" while he served as a pastor at Sacred Heart Parish Church in Nacogdoches.

The suit also alleges that Bollich began grooming the plaintiff when the then-14-year-old took a summer job at Sacred Heart Parish. Bollich gave the boy a digital watch, plied him with cigarettes and alcohol, and gave him rides in his car, according to the suit.

"He frequently gave the boy hugs and talked with him about entering the priesthood," the suit claims, "....As time progressed, Bollich's behavior became aggressive and sexual. He began to fondle [the plaintiff's] buttocks and genitals, initially on top of his clothing, and later inside his underwear. Bollich also repeatedly exposed his genitals while forcing his tongue down the boy's throat."

The alleged oral sex occurred during one of two nights the plaintiff spent at the rectory. Bollich, according to the suit, told the plaintiff that "he loved him, that there was nothing wrong in what they were doing, and that 'no one needs to know about this.'"

Because of the abuse, the suit claims, the plaintiff "began drinking alcohol, smoking pot, and getting into fights."

The plaintiff is represented by Dallas attorney Tahira Khan Merritt, who's been responsible for bringing the smackdown on pedophile priests and their diocesan conspirators, including her work in the suit against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Dallas and Rudolph Kos, which yielded the largest jury award in such cases.

She also represented women who claimed to be abused by Houston priest Joseph Ngoc Nguyen Tu, and men who said they were abused as boys by Juan Carlos Patino-Arango (the dude the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston kindly helped flee the country, and who now works with boys at a school in Colombia), and German Moreno, a fugitive sex offender from Costa Rica who found a welcome place in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. He was charged with abusing boys in Houston in 2005 and then jumped bail. He returned to Costa Rica, where he was later accused of more sexual abuse.

Merritt stated in a press release that her client "has come forward to reach out to others who may have been sexually abused by Father Bollich and to protect other potential victims from harm. He is asking anyone who has pertinent information about Father please come forward and also report their abuse to law enforcement."

We sought comment from the Beaumont Diocese and are waiting for a response. (Update: a spokeswoman for the Diocese told us they have no comment at this time.)

Follow Hair Balls News on Facebook and on Twitter @HairBallsNews.

Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help

I was a child in the Nacogdoches parish as was my younger brother during this time.  We both spent large amounts of time around Fr Bollich.  I am also the same age as the complaining parties which means that I almost certainly know them.

I am as certain as I can be that these allegations are false.

I have read the full complaint filed by the original complainant and am certain based on the facts outlined that it is simply false.  I could go point by point and show this was false.

This was a small parish with only a hand full of boys of any given grade - not more than around 10 for any given grade year.  I was around the church constantly from 1968 until we moved in 1978 including after school most days.  I was in the church, the school buildings and the rectory.  I never saw any of my school mates there except during catechism classes or church social events.  During the times I was there when my school mates were not, I regularly saw Fr. Bollich and at times the other adults involved in running the church such as the office manager (the office was in the rectory), the main nun in charge of education, and the housekeeper of the rectory, but I never saw any of my school mates.  I routinely played in the back play ground hear the rectory and NEVER saw any of my school mates going in or out of the rectory.

I feel compassion for the men seeking this because they must have suffered emotional abuse from someone to even contemplate something like this, but I am absolutely certain that Fr. Bollich was not a sexual abuser of boys in his charge.  It is a real shame that this was done after his death when he is no longer here to defend himself.  I see that the Diocese settled this.  I can understand why they would have to do so but that was a business decision not related to the veracity of the charges.

Fr. Bollich was a good priest, a decent man, and these allegations are false and disgraceful.


We applaud this brave man for coming forward and exposing the truth about this predator and those who covered for him. We hope anyone who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes by Father Bollich or other clergy will come forward, report the abuse to law enforcement, get help, start healing and protect others. Staying silent only hurts but by speaking up there is a chance for healing and protecting others. The light of truth and knowledge is our most important tool to protect kids.Amy SmithSurvivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) and clergyHouston leader

Now Trending

Houston Concert Tickets

From the Vault