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Woman Sues Religious Order, Alleging Abuse By Nun

Jul 31, 2004 | The Courier-Journal

A woman who alleges that a nun sexually abused her at an Anchorage orphanage more than 40 years ago is the 21st to file a lawsuit this month against the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth.

Charlotte Marie Bailey, 50, filed suit yesterday in Jefferson Circuit Court, alleging that Sister Mary Camilla Donahue sexually abused her at the St. Thomas-St. Vincent Orphanage in the 1950s and 1960s.

The lawsuit alleges that Donahue struck Bailey on her bare buttocks with a leather strap while others watched and made "her to stand naked in front of the entire dormitory wet and forced (her) to sing."

Two other plaintiffs have previously accused Donahue of abuse.

A spokeswoman for the Roman Catholic religious order, Barbara Qualls, said Donahue worked at the orphanage and is now deceased. The orphanage closed in 1983.

The Sisters of Charity, based outside Bardstown, have said they have no record of allegations of sexual abuse at the orphanage until recently.

Bailey is the second plaintiff represented in separate suits by attorney Victor Tackett. The other 19 who have sued the order are represented in a single lawsuit filed by attorney William McMurry.

The lawsuits allege the religious order failed to properly supervise workers at the orphanage and other schools. While some of the suits allege abuse by nuns, most accuse a priest who is now deceased, Monsignor Herman Lammers, of fondling or raping them at the orphanage, where he was a resident chaplain.

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