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Lawsuit claims church abuse

Former student at Sts. Simon and Jude Catholic Church in Huntington Beach says two priests molested him starting in early 1990s.

June 11, 2009|By Michael Miller

A former student at a Huntington Beach Catholic school has filed a lawsuit alleging that he was sexually abused as a boy by a pair of priests at the school.

The 25-year-old plaintiff, referred to in the suit as “John Doe,” claims that the Rev. Alexander G. Manville, now a pastor emeritus at Sts. Simon and Jude Catholic Church, and the Rev. Gus Krumm, who has since left the church, molested him on multiple occasions beginning in the early 1990s. The suit names the two priests, the Sts. Simon and Jude church and school, the Diocese of Orange and the Franciscan Friars of California among its defendants.

Attorney H. Shaina Colover said the plaintiff was seeking monetary damages, but would not specify how much.

“It’s just a shame that this has to happen again, that there’s another one of these cases out there,” said Colover, who added that she has handled church abuse cases in the past.

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Christina Sumpter, the pastoral administrator for Sts. Simon and Jude, said the church had no comment on the suit.

According to the suit, Manville repeatedly molested the plaintiff after inviting him to help prepare for “religious ceremonies” at the church, even withdrawing him from the classroom to sexually abuse him. On at least occasion, Manville and Krumm abused the plaintiff at the same time, the suit alleges.

Colover said she did not know if there had been similar instances at the church during the years the plaintiff went there, but would not rule them out.

“We’ve just filed a lawsuit, and there may be some discovery,” she said. “I’m sure that if there is anything else, we’ll find out about it.”


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