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Suit: Famed Jesuit Sexually Abused Me on Worldwide Trips

Robert Goldberg says he endured almost daily abuse as child valet for the late Donald McGuire
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 31, 2019 8:08 AM CST

(Newser) – One day in May 1970, an 11-year-old boy and his sister waited outside a Chicago tavern for their mom to come out. When a priest happened by and offered the family a ride home, they took him up on it. The boy, Robert Goldberg, would pay dearly for the favor, enduring what he describes as years of psychological control and sexual abuse he suffered while working as a child valet for the late Rev. Donald J. McGuire. He remained in the Jesuit’s thrall for nearly 40 years, even testifying on McGuire's behalf during criminal trials that resulted in a 25-year prison sentence for the priest. Now, however, Goldberg, 61, is telling his story, to the AP and in a suit he filed Monday in San Francisco. The suit charges that McGuire, a globe-trotting Jesuit with ties to Mother Teresa, abused Goldberg “more than 1,000 times, in multiple states and countries,” during sojourns to spiritual retreats in the US and Europe.

On these trips, the suit says, Goldberg carried McGuire's briefcase, ran errands, and often endured daily abuse that included "sexual touching, oral copulation, and anal penetration." The complaint doesn't currently name any defendants, but Goldberg's attorneys say the defendants will include the Jesuit religious order in the US and the order's top leader in Rome, among others. They also say Goldberg’s abuse occurred at a time when powerful church officials—including Mother Teresa, who was eventually elevated to sainthood by Pope Francis—knew McGuire had been repeatedly accused of sexually abusing boys. Church officials went to great lengths to cover up his crimes, the suit alleges. Goldberg was often tearful as he told his story. "I have to forgive him, so I can get into heaven," he said. Much more here, including Goldberg's claim that McGuire would use sex as punishment.

(Read more priest sex abuse stories.)

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