Father Ronald Bollich: Two More Men Accuse Beaumont Diocese of Negligence in Alleged Abuse

Categories: Courts

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We're not surprised that more people have stepped forward in the suit against Father Ronald Bollich.
Two more men have joined a lawsuit accusing a deceased Beaumont priest of molestation.

Identified as John Does, the two men join another anonymous plaintiff who sued the Roman Catholic Diocese of Beaumont and Bishop Curtis Guillory in April over abuse that allegedly occurred in 1976 and 1977. The accused priest, Father Ronald W. Bollich, died in 1996 at age 59.

The new plaintiffs' allegations include a night of near-naked "wrestling," in which Bollich plied boys with alcohol while spending the night in Bollich's quarters in the rectory. After telling two of the plaintiffs and at least one other boy to strip down to their underwear, Bollich wrestled with the boys, pinned them to his bed and "began pawing and groping the boys' genitals," according to the suit.

In another alleged incident involving a new plaintiff, Bollich "pushed the boy's head and mouth down towards his erect penis."

"Confused and scared, [the plaintiff] cannot recall exactly how long he was pressed in this position," the suit claims.

The suit, filed by Dallas attorney Tahira Khan Merritt, claims that the diocese and bishop "concealed Father Bollich's psycho-sexual disorders and covered up his crimes to avoid scandal...."

The plaintiffs seek damages including physical pain and mental anguish.

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

The diocese declined comment when the suit was filed in April. We'll update if anything changes.

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3 comments
NacogdochesBoy
NacogdochesBoy

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.

SarahTX2
SarahTX2

Thank you for this reporting.  I'm guessing the survivors of this priest and their families are in turmoil about this.  I hope they know that they are doing the best thing they possibly can by making these matters public.  It is the only way to stop this madness.  The courts and the judicial system are step by step gaining control over this assault on our American children.  One would hope that practicing Catholics would be doing something about this, but commonly their response is that the Catholic Church is not a democracy.  Woe to those who would allow grave harm to fall upon one of His children.  Woe to the Catholic Church and all of its practicing members.  One question here.  What caused the priest's death at 59?   

snapjudy
snapjudy

Let's hope that every person who saw, suspected or may have suffered sex crimes by Ronald W. Bollich, will find the courage and strength to speak up, call police, expose wrongdoing, protect others and start healing. Keep in mind your silence only hurts, and by speaking up there is a chance for healing, exposing the truth, and therefore protecting others.

 

Judy Jones, SNAP Midwest Associate Director, USA, 636-433-2511. snapjudy@gmail.com, (SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests,)

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