This is the very first instance of accusing Pastor Pius Brazauskas of sexual abuse. According to Peter B. Janci, the prosecutors’ attorney, three men brought a suit against the pastor in 2018, only to be joined by another five men claiming the akin abuse.
The lawsuit brought in January last year alleges that the pastor sexually assaulted three men in their childhood, from when they were five to when they were 12. As they reveal, late Brazauskas kissed them, touched their groins, and pressed his body against theirs. At the time of the abuse, the pastor was appointed to Holy Redeemer Catholic Church located in the city of North Bend.
The Legal Remedy
The three original prosecutors, S.R., S.F., and J.B., who are about 40 years of age now, will be given $675,000 each. Five other prosecutors, A.S., J.N., D.G., S.S., and B.S. will get $125,000, $475,000, $100,000, $675,000 and $440,000 respectively. The majority of them were altar boys at the time.
Who Was Pius Brazauskas?
Pius Brazauskas was an immigrant who came to the USA from Europe back in the ’40s. While he resided in Oregon, he was assigned different positions. In the period of the 1950s–1970s, he was a chaplain based at Sacred Heart Hospital located in Eugene. At the beginning of the ’70s, he changed his place of residence and went to North Bend. There he started working at St. Catherine’s Residence nursing center and Holy Redeemer Catholic Church.
According to his obituary, he retreated in 1980. But he continued to be active at the nursing center and Holy Redeemer Church until 1990 when he died at 84.
An article that the Register Guard from Eugene published back in 1957 alleged that, for the pastor, children had been a “special delight.” What’s more, they used to call him “Dr. Bubblegum” as he always gave them a sweet or a gum. According to Janci, the pastor remained active even after his retirement. He kept leading Masses both in his parish and home each week.
The crime pastor Pius Brazauskas had committed had serious consequences not only for his victims but also for the entire parish. The eight men had suffered a trauma that severely affected their lives in the alleged five-year period. But the archdiocese from Portland suffered, too. Namely, the parish went bankrupt 15 years ago as it was obliged to settle for over 100 accusations of abuse committed by clergymen. Moreover, dozens are still left to deal with.
Portland’s parish was the first to declare bankruptcy over accusation for sexual assaults against children. By 2007, when the bankruptcy procedures were finally completed, the parish concluded more than 300 accusations. Moreover, it also paid almost $90 million in favor of claims and fees in order to complete the bankruptcy.
Overcoming the Fear
According to Janci, the eight men comprise the greatest association of victims that emerged after the parish bankruptcy period. He further explains that the fact the men waited for even 25 years after the pastor’s death to come forward illustrates how burdensome it was for them to conquer both the stigma and the fear. The layer added that the eight men assume there are numerous other Brazauskas’s victims who are still hesitating to appear.
Layer Anna Helton, the parish representative, appealed to the judge to accept the compensation. She explained that the money would originate from the parish’s trust for future allegations. As the court documents indicate, the fund was established during the bankruptcy procedures. Janci praised both the parish and the attorneys for respecting the victims and effort to solve the case impartially and without any delays.