Two women implicated in Catholic school sex abuse scandal
DPA/The Local · 18 Feb 2010, 14:47
Published: 18 Feb 2010 14:47 GMT+01:00
“It has reached a dimension that was unimaginable before,” said Ursula Raue, the lawyer hired by the Cansisius secondary school in Berlin, where the scandal erupted in late January.
According to Raue, about 115 victims have come forward across the country, including some whom were not even enrolled at Jesuit schools.
“I am under the impression that there will still be more,” Raue said at a press conference.
The lawyer said she had also heard about victims who have taken their lives, while some men had spoken of their abuse for the first time, having never even told their wives.
So far between 40 and 50 former students at the Canisius school have alleged they were sexually abused in the 1970s and 80s after current headmaster Klaus Mertes sent a letter to some 600 former students who he believed may have been victims of at least two priests on staff at the elite school.
Since then reports of sexual abuse in other Catholic schools and organisations have spread throughout Germany, including the St. Blasien Jesuit school in the Black Forest and the Aloisius secondary school in Bonn.
Reports implicate at least 12 teachers or priests involved in the abuse, Raue said.
Earlier in the week media reports said victim compensation could reach into the millions of euros.
Meanwhile prosecutors have said that the alleged abuse probably happened too long ago for criminal charges to be an option. Canisius school headmaster Mertes also acknowledged that the church may compensate victims.