Arlington Catholic grad sues sues 3 former archdiocese priests

Arlington Catholic logo'Strategic decision' not to name then vice principal.
-- Mitchell Garabedian

Alleges they permitted abuse

 A former student at Arlington Catholic High School has sued two former priests in the Archdiocese of Boston and a third unidentified priest, alleging their lack of supervision allowed the school's then vice principal to molest him when the student was serving detention.

The suit was filed in Suffolk Superior Court on Thursday, Aug. 25, on behalf of Kevin Doherty by attorney Mitchell Garabedian, who has spent much of the last 20 years in litigation over molesting priests both in the Archdiocese of Boston and elsewhere.

News about the lawsuit was first reported by Universal Hub, and it includes a link to the complaint.

The suit describes what the vice principal allegedly did, but it does not name him as a defendant. Named are Richard Joseph Malone, who served as secretary of education and vicar general for the Boston archdiocese at the time, and William Murphy, who also served as vicar general, moderator of the curia and auxiliary bishop.

"Defendant Three" is another archdiocese official allegedly involved in hiring the vice principal, who the complaint says is Stephen Biagioni.

Garabedian told Universal Hub that he made "a strategic decision" not to name the vice principal as a defendant "at this time."

Two named priests have retired

Malone left Boston to become bishop of the Diocese of Buffalo, N.Y., a post from which he retired in 2019. Murphy left Boston to become bishop of the diocese of Rockville Centre, N.Y., a post from which he retired in 2017, Universal Hub reported.

According to the suit, at issue is what the vice principal allegedly did between 1999 and 2001, when Doherty, who now lives in Allston, attended Arlington Catholic.

Starting in 1999, when Doherty was 16, he received detention on "multiple occasions," according to his suit. The vice principal, in charge of detention, would come in and "force Plaintiff to wrestle with him" on several occasions, all of which ended, the suit alleges, with the man rubbing his erect penis on Doherty. These are among the details alleged.

Doherty says that because of what happened, "he has suffered, and will continue to suffer in the future severe emotional distress and physical harm manifested by objective symptomatology, including, but not limited to, anxiety; depression; anger; and sleep problems."

'Hiring, direction, supervision'

The suit says the three priests were in charge of "hiring, retention, direction, and supervision of administrators at Arlington Catholic, where those administrators would be directing, supervising, disciplining, and otherwise interacting with students, including minor children" and that they failed "their duty of care" to ensure school administrators treated students decently and that they "knew or should have known" that the man "was of bad character and reputation and unfit to properly interact with students, including minor children," in particular, Doherty.

Biagioni eventually became principal of the school. In 2016, he was placed on administrative leave for an unspecified incident possibly involving a student in detention. Media outlets, including YourArlington, reported it at the time but subsequently could not learn further details

"We have no reason to believe at this time it involves allegations of sexual abuse," Vice Principal Linda Butt said in a letter at the time.

The 2021-22 state Department of Education district profile for Arlington Catholic lists the principal as Biagioni, but the school's website lists John Graceffa in that position.

  Feb. 4, 2016: AC principal put on leave, school statement says

 This news summary based on information contained in a lawsuit and reporting by Universal Hub was published Sunday, Aug. 28, 2022.

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