January 22, 2005: Headlines: COS - Colombia: Crime: Sexual Abuse: Spokesman-Review: Colombia RPCV Rev. James Mitchell sued for alleged sexual abuse

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Library: Peace Corps: Crime : Crime and the Peace Corps: August 21, 2004: Headlines: COS - Colombia: Crime: Sex Abuse: Spokesman-Review: RPCV James Mitchell who has sponsored Colombian students accused of sex abuse : January 22, 2005: Headlines: COS - Colombia: Crime: Sexual Abuse: Spokesman-Review: Colombia RPCV Rev. James Mitchell sued for alleged sexual abuse

By Admin1 (admin) (pool-151-196-48-182.balt.east.verizon.net - on Friday, January 28, 2005 - 8:46 pm: Edit Post

Colombia RPCV Rev. James Mitchell sued for alleged sexual abuse

Colombia RPCV Rev. James Mitchell sued for alleged sexual abuse

Colombia RPCV Rev. James Mitchell sued for alleged sexual abuse

Second lawsuit filed against Pullman priest; Oregon resident says priest molested him when he was 14

Jan 22, 2005


by Virginia De Leon Staff Writer

A second lawsuit alleging sexual abuse was filed earlier this week against the Rev. James Mitchell, a Roman Catholic priest who lives in Pullman.

Mitchell, who has sponsored students from a rural mountain village in Colombia, is being sued by a former student who claims that Mitchell molested him when he was 14 years old.

The victim, identified only as L.M. of Sherwood, Ore., first met Mitchell in 1982, when the priest was working in Colombia, according to the complaint filed in King County Superior Court.

Mitchell allegedly adopted the boy in 1983 and a year later brought him to the United States, where the sexual abuse continued until 1986.

A similar lawsuit against Mitchell was filed last year by Ariel Ariza of Lynnwood, Wash., another former student whom the priest adopted and brought to the United States.

The complaint, filed by Seattle attorney Mary Fleck, also names the Archdiocese of Seattle as a defendant. In 1985, according to the lawsuit, Mitchell took L.M. to St. John's Parish in Vancouver, Wash., where the priest was given permission to work by the Archdiocese of Seattle. The plaintiff claims Mitchell continued to abuse him during their stay there.

Neither Mitchell nor his attorney returned phone calls Friday for comment.

In a previous interview, Greg Magnoni of the Archdiocese of Seattle said that in 1986, one of three young men who lived with Mitchell told the pastor of St. John's that Mitchell had abused him, but that the incidents occurred in Colombia. The pastor reported the incident to civil authorities in Vancouver, as well as to the archbishop, who then contacted the appropriate bishop in Colombia.

Mitchell was then dismissed from his position and removed from the archdiocese. No criminal action was taken since the alleged molestations happened outside the United States.

Since he moved to Pullman in the early 1990s, Mitchell has sponsored several Colombian students at Washington State University by helping them get tuition waivers and finding them housing, often in his own home. He also runs a nonprofit school for poor, rural children in Colombia called the El Camino Development and Education Fund.

Mitchell established that school in 1973, shortly after he was ordained into the priesthood by a bishop in Colombia. Before joining the seminary there, Mitchell was a Peace Corps volunteer who served for four years in the Colombian state of Santander.

In recent years, the priest has ministered to Spanish-speaking people in the Pullman area, often celebrating Mass in his own home. But according to the Diocese of Spokane, Mitchell has never had permission to function as a priest in this area.

Despite the allegations against him, only his overseeing bishop in Colombia can take any action to remove him from ministry.

That bishop, however, doesn't have to follow the same rules enacted by the American bishops, who agreed in 2002 to investigate all claims of abuse and to permanently remove from ministry any priest who has ever molested a child.

When this story was posted in January 2005, this was on the front page of PCOL:

January 22, 2005: This Week's Top Stories Date: January 22 2005 No: 391 January 22, 2005: This Week's Top Stories
Spread Freedom but not at gunpoint 22 Jan
Dodd has ring side seat at Inauguration 21 Jan
Peace Corps works in Georgia 21 Jan
Trey Aven monitored Ukraine elections 21 Jan
RPCV group makes quiet indie-pop 21 Jan
Anthony Shriver considers race for Florida Governor 20 Jan
Thomas Tighe says internet brought funds to DRI 20 Jan
Stacy Jupiter researches Australia ecosystems 20 Jan
Libby Garvey is education activist 20 Jan
David McIntyre captures medals on land and in water 19 Jan
Carol Bellamy new president of World Learning 18 Jan
Reed Hastings crossed "Latino Caucus'' 18 Jan
RPCVs sponsor Freeze for Food to aid Colombia farmers 18 Jan
RPCVs urge Bush to aid Democracy in Ukraine 17 Jan
Tom Petri proposes changes in student loan program 17 Jan
Golden Globe Win for Jamie Foxx in RPCV's "Ray" 17 Jan
Stephen Smith is new consul-general in Australia 17 Jan

Ask Not Date: January 18 2005 No: 388 Ask Not
As our country prepares for the inauguration of a President, we remember one of the greatest speeches of the 20th century and how his words inspired us. "And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you--ask what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man."
Coleman: Peace Corps mission and expansion Date: January 8 2005 No: 373 Coleman: Peace Corps mission and expansion
Senator Norm Coleman, Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee that oversees the Peace Corps, says in an op-ed, A chance to show the world America at its best: "Even as that worthy agency mobilizes a "Crisis Corps" of former Peace Corps volunteers to assist with tsunami relief, I believe an opportunity exists to rededicate ourselves to the mission of the Peace Corps and its expansion to touch more and more lives."
RPCVs active in new session of Congress Date: January 8 2005 No: 374 RPCVs active in new session of Congress
In the new session of Congress that begins this week, RPCV Congressman Tom Petri has a proposal to bolster Social Security, Sam Farr supported the objection to the Electoral College count, James Walsh has asked for a waiver to continue heading a powerful Appropriations subcommittee, Chris Shays will no longer be vice chairman of the Budget Committee, and Mike Honda spoke on the floor honoring late Congressman Robert Matsui.
RPCVs and Peace Corps provide aid  Date: January 4 2005 No: 366 Latest: RPCVs and Peace Corps provide aid
Peace Corps made an appeal last week to all Thailand RPCV's to consider serving again through the Crisis Corps and more than 30 RPCVs have responded so far. RPCVs: Read what an RPCV-led NGO is doing about the crisis an how one RPCV is headed for Sri Lanka to help a nation he grew to love. Question: Is Crisis Corps going to send RPCVs to India, Indonesia and nine other countries that need help?
The World's Broken Promise to our Children Date: December 24 2004 No: 345 The World's Broken Promise to our Children
Former Director Carol Bellamy, now head of Unicef, says that the appalling conditions endured today by half the world's children speak to a broken promise. Too many governments are doing worse than neglecting children -- they are making deliberate, informed choices that hurt children. Read her op-ed and Unicef's report on the State of the World's Children 2005.
Changing of the Guard Date: December 15 2004 No: 330 Changing of the Guard
With Lloyd Pierson's departure, Marie Wheat has been named acting Chief of Staff and Chief of Operations responsible for the day-to-day management of the Peace Corps. Although Wheat is not an RPCV and has limited overseas experience, in her two years at the agency she has come to be respected as someone with good political skills who listens and delegates authority and we wish her the best in her new position.
Our debt to Bill Moyers Our debt to Bill Moyers
Former Peace Corps Deputy Director Bill Moyers leaves PBS next week to begin writing his memoir of Lyndon Baines Johnson. Read what Moyers says about journalism under fire, the value of a free press, and the yearning for democracy. "We have got to nurture the spirit of independent journalism in this country," he warns, "or we'll not save capitalism from its own excesses, and we'll not save democracy from its own inertia."
RPCV safe after Terrorist Attack RPCV safe after Terrorist Attack
RPCV Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley, the U.S. consul general in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia survived Monday's attack on the consulate without injury. Five consular employees and four others were killed. Abercrombie-Winstanley, the first woman to hold the position, has been an outspoken advocate of rights for Arab women and has met with Saudi reformers despite efforts by Saudi leaders to block the discussions.
Is Gaddi Leaving? Is Gaddi Leaving?
Rumors are swirling that Peace Corps Director Vasquez may be leaving the administration. We think Director Vasquez has been doing a good job and if he decides to stay to the end of the administration, he could possibly have the same sort of impact as a Loret Ruppe Miller. If Vasquez has decided to leave, then Bob Taft, Peter McPherson, Chris Shays, or Jody Olsen would be good candidates to run the agency. Latest: For the record, Peace Corps has no comment on the rumors.
The Birth of the Peace Corps The Birth of the Peace Corps
UMBC's Shriver Center and the Maryland Returned Volunteers hosted Scott Stossel, biographer of Sargent Shriver, who spoke on the Birth of the Peace Corps. This is the second annual Peace Corps History series - last year's speaker was Peace Corps Director Jack Vaughn.

Read the stories and leave your comments.

Some postings on Peace Corps Online are provided to the individual members of this group without permission of the copyright owner for the non-profit purposes of criticism, comment, education, scholarship, and research under the "Fair Use" provisions of U.S. Government copyright laws and they may not be distributed further without permission of the copyright owner. Peace Corps Online does not vouch for the accuracy of the content of the postings, which is the sole responsibility of the copyright holder.

Story Source: Spokesman-Review

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Colombia; Crime; Sexual Abuse



Add a Message

This is a public posting area. Enter your username and password if you have an account. Otherwise, enter your full name as your username and leave the password blank. Your e-mail address is optional.