BY HEMANT MEHTA
MARCH 15, 2021
When John* was only eight years old and in second grade, a staffer at Bishop Kelley Catholic School in Michigan “drugged and raped [him] in the teacher’s lounge.”
Specifically, Aloysius “Father Al” Volskis gave the boy two blue pills which he thought were going to help his cold symptoms. Instead, in a state of semi-consciousness, the boy remembers hearing “Volskis moaning and uttering prayers or chants in Latin” during the assault, Volskis’ pants around his ankles afterwards, and blood in his own underwear later.
Volskis also told the boy that if he ever told anyone what just happened, Satan would “hurt his family.”
Due to the threat, the boy remained quiet for years after that incident.
The school should’ve known Volskis was a problem. At his previous job, he had been accused of sexual misconduct. Yet the school hired him anyway, giving him access to children, at least one of whom he later assaulted.
That boy is now 18, and he makes all those claims in a lawsuit filed this week against the school, the church, the Archbishop, and the Archdiocese. The priest, who left the country in 2013, is not named in the lawsuit. The student himself remains anonymous and only goes by “John Doe.”
Defendants could have prevented the assault on Plaintiff, which caused him to suffer severe anxiety, depression, and psychosis, including multiple hospitalizations. Instead, they chose to conceal and deny their knowledge of Volskis’s predilections. Several months after the assault on Plaintiff, another victim reported an assault by Volskis. Defendants then sheltered Volskis in the church rectory at Immaculate Conception, concealed his true whereabouts from the community, and facilitated his escape out of the country.
The lawsuit claims the defendants were liable for what happened to him and negligent in hiring and supervising Volskis. Had they done their jobs properly, Volskis wouldn’t have been able to assault him, and that assault carried ripple effects throughout his life.
Whether this lawsuit will be successful, I don’t know, but it’s a reminder that alleged child sexual assault by Catholic Church officials has never truly disappeared. This incident is said to have happened in 2010, long after the scandal became widely exposed. The only reason this lawsuit is being filed now is because the victim didn’t want to admit what happened to him because he thought the devil would come after his family.
How many more cases like this will we hear despite politicians passing laws to extend statutes of limitations for similar kinds of assault cases?
(Image via Shutterstock)