Bringing sexual abuse claims to light takes a substantial amount of courage, but doing so without the protection of anonymity can invite just as much speculation and scorn as it does encouragement and praise. So, why do it? Mike Pedevilla initially filed a sexual abuse claim against the Jesuit College Preparatory School of Dallas as “John Doe,” but has since decided to share his name with the public. In his own words, Pedevilla says, “I want to sit this close, face to face, with Jesuit and the parties representing Jesuit and the Diocese of Dallas. I want them to see me and have to look me in the eyes and talk to me.” Now that his identity is public knowledge, Pedevilla is taking a stand against the school that failed to protect him and the Catholic institutions that have allowed and covered-up the horrible crisis of priest sexual abuse.
By taking legal action, Pedevilla hopes to expose the true nature of the priest who abused him, get answers as to how this happened and how widespread the crisis has been, and correct the Diocese’s secretive behaviors that only serve to enable abusers within the church and Catholic schools.
The Problematic “List”
Mike Pedevilla has long since been a supporter of the Jesuit College Prep School. He attended the school himself as a youngster and graduated in 1983. Since then, he has raised money on the school’s behalf, organized alumni events, and he’s maintained contact with many of his classmates. However, when the Jesuit Order, the Jesuit School and the Dallas Diocese released lists of priests credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors, Pedevilla began to have memories surface that had been previously repressed about what Father Patrick Koch did to Pedevilla when he was a freshman and sophomore at Jesuit. Pedevilla became angry when Koch’s name was initially excluded from the Jesuit Order and Jesuit School’s list Eventually, the list was revised to include Koch’s name, but it still failed to tell the public about how many times the priests had been accused, what those allegations were, and so on.
The Catholic Church continues to conceal what information it has about Koch and other credibly accused priests, failing the public by omitting crucial information about potentially dangerous clergy members. In an effort to take a stand against the Jesuit Prep School, the Jesuit Order and the Diocese of Dallas, Pedevilla decided to take action.
Legal Action Against Jesuit College Preparatory School of Dallas and the Catholic Church
With the help of Attorneys Charla Aldous and Brent Walker, Mike Pedevilla filed a lawsuit against Jesuit and the Catholic Diocese of Dallas for their negligence in connection to his molestation as a student in the 1980s and their conspiracy to cover-up the crisis of sexual abuse Jesuit and throughout the Church. Although the priest in question, Koch, died in 2006, Pedevilla hopes this lawsuit will help bring the Diocese to justice.
In accordance with the Jesuit school’s motto, Pedevilla wants to be a “man for others” in hopes that his actions will help prevent current and future students from suffering similar fates.
To learn more about the case, read the following articles by The Dallas Morning News:
- 'I want them to see me': Jesuit Prep alum suing Dallas school over priest sex abuse sheds anonymity
- Jesuit Dallas faces a moment of reckoning in former student’s sex abuse allegations
Need Legal Help? We’re Here for You.
Attorneys Charla Aldous and Brent Walker are proud to provide Mike Pedevilla with the legal support he needs and deserves during this trying time, and we commend him for his bravery and honesty. Our firm is passionate about fighting for the rights of victims of sexual abuse, and we are committed to using our ample legal resources and experience to hold the Jesuit Prep School and Diocese of Dallas liable for their part in Pedevilla’s childhood mistreatment.
If you were similarly abused as a child and you need legal help, our firm is prepared to provide you with the information and guidance you need. Contact Aldous \ Walker LLP to discuss your situation with our attorneys today.