PCVA Lawsuit Against Three Archdiocese Leaders Exposes Rampant Abuse

Jul 9, 2024 | Uncategorized

This week, we filed a lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Seattle alleging for our client who was sexually abused by three adults at St. John Catholic School in the 1980s.

The survivor in the lawsuit, R.C., suffered sexual abuse by a priest, Father Edward Boyle, and his coaches, John Schade, and Terry McGrath from 1981 through 1985, while he was a student at St. John Catholic School in Seattle. Each of the alleged perpetrators worked at St. John in the 1970s and 1980s, and all have been previously accused of abusing children.

Father Boyle has faced accusations of sexual abuse for more than a decade. In 2005, an Everett man sued the Archdiocese of Seattle claiming that Boyle abused him for more than ten years, starting in 1956. Eleven years later, in 2016, the Archdiocese of Seattle identified Boyle as a priest who has been credibly accused of sexual abuse.

In the 1980s, John Schade was convicted of felony indecent liberties related to his sexual abuse of children. R.C. alleges that he was one of those survivors, and that John Schade used his position as a coach at St. John to abuse him. As for Terry McGrath, this is the third lawsuit in the last twelve months against McGrath. McGrath was a Catholic Youth Organization coach who worked at various Catholic schools in the Seattle and Kirkland areas during the 1970s and 1980s. The other two cases involve alleged abuse by McGrath at Holy Family Catholic School in Kirkland in the 1970s.

R.C. alleges that in the 1960s, McGrath was convicted of child sex crimes and ordered to register as a sex offender in California. Despite his public conviction and sex offender status, when McGrath moved to Washington, the Archdiocese of Seattle hired him as a coach, employee, and volunteer at St. John and other Catholic schools in Seattle and Kirkland.

R.C. further alleges that while McGrath was a coach at St. John, a student told the principal at St. John that McGrath had sexually abused him. Instead of removing McGrath, the principal allowed Terry McGrath to continue working as a coach, which enabled McGrath to continue abusing R.C.

Attorneys Michael Pfau, Steven Reich, and Benjamin Watson of Pfau Cochran Vertetis Amala PLLC (PCVA) are the lawyers representing R.C. in this case. PCVA has over twenty-five years of experience representing survivors of childhood sexual abuse, including cases involving sexual abuse at schools, youth organizations, youth athletics, churches, day care centers, foster care, and within the home.

PCVA is concerned by the scope of abuse at St. John Catholic School in the 1980s. According to Pfau, “The amount of credibly accused perpetrators working at St. John in the 1980s is striking. We intend to find out how exactly this happened—how a school like St. John could employ multiple pedophiles at the same time and provide those pedophiles with access to its students. We have many questions about the culture of St. John in the 1980s and what the staff knew about the ongoing abuse of the students.”

Steven Reich commented on the allegations against McGrath specifically: “Terry McGrath worked as a Catholic Youth Organization coach for nearly twenty years. The length of time he spent with children is highly distressing, particularly because we know his abuse of students occurred over a ten-year span, at a minimum, and took place at both Holy Family and St. John. Terry McGrath did not target just one child, and we are concerned there are more individuals who were affected.”

Read about more our work against Clergy & Priest Sexual Abuse here.

About PCVA Law

PCVA Law is proud to be the leading law firm in Washington State fighting for the rights of sexual abuse survivors of the Seattle clergy, representing more than 200 people who have filed lawsuits against 80+ religious leaders over the last 20+ years.

If you or a loved one has been sexually abused by a clergyman or church volunteer, you need an attorney advocate on your side that understands what you’re going through. Our trial attorneys have helped many clients successfully navigate the legal process to recover compensation.

When you’re ready, our lawyers are here to listen and help. Talk to a lawyer for free by completing our online form or calling us at (253) 777-0799 or (206) 462-4334. All conversations are confidential.

Our Results:

$9.15M settlement for 8 men sexually abuse in the Seattle Archdiocese
$1.46M Settlement in Two Sex Abuse Lawsuits Against Seattle Archdiocese
$1.1M Settlement Reached in Church of Latter-Day Saints Sex Abuse Lawsuit
$725K Settlement in Sexual Abuse Case Against Seattle Archdiocese

News related to Our Seattle Archdiocese Cases

Seattle Archdiocese Christian Brothers Reach $7 Million Settlement – Seattle Times

Seattle Archdiocese Settles Abuse Lawsuits for $12 Million – Seattle Times

Catholic Church Abuse:  Seattle Archdiocese pays $1.3 Million to Settle Case – Newsweek

Seattle Archdiocese and Pierce County School District Settle Suit Over Pedophile Priest for $2.45 Million – Seattle Times

Seattle Archdiocese pays $12 Million to Settle Sex Abuse Claims – Huffpost

Seattle Archdiocese Settles Molestation Suite for $635,000 – Seattle Times

Seattle Archdiocese Settles with Local Woman After Molestation Allegation — KIRO 7

Burlington Woman One of 8 to Receive Settlement from Seattle Archdiocese – Fox 13 Seattle