A fourth man has filed a $15 million lawsuit against the Episcopal Diocese of Texas and St. Stephen's Episcopal School for allegedly covering up his sexual abuse at the hands of the school's chaplain.
Filed Thursday in a Corpus Christi federal court, the suit is the third to accuse then-headmaster Allen Becker and other diocese authorities of covering up Jim Tucker's molestation of male students in the Austin boarding school in the 1960s. (After the publication of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," the Press was made aware of a lawsuit filed against the diocese for Tucker's alleged molestation of a student at Houston's St. James Episcopal School, where Tucker worked after St. Stephen's. That suit was settled and sealed).
The new lawsuit, which does not name the accuser, alleges that "During the summer of 1967, Tucker made his usual late-night visit to plaintiff's bed in the dark room with the lights out, and while carrying on a general discussion, defendant Tucker molested, sexually abused and exploited [the] plaintiff....Plaintiff's memories were not recovered until after June of 2007 when [he] read a notice letter from the diocese and St. Stephen's community about an investigation that confirmed numerous reports and other evidence of Tucker's crimes against boys that had been concealed by the bishops and the headmasters...."
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Diocesan and school authorities have maintained that they are not liable for Tucker's actions. Tucker, who retired from active ministry in 1994, was laicized in 2008 after an ecclesiastical court found him guilty of "sexual misconduct."