Lawsuit filed after sexual allegations against former Dean of Students
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (WSVN) -- Three former students from a South Florida high school have filed a lawsuit after they allegedly claim they were sexually abused by the former Dean of Students.
Brother Kenneth Ward was the former Dean of Students at Monsignor Edward Pace High School in Miami Gardens from 2000-2006. It was during that time that three students said Ward repeatedly abused them. "Locking kids in his office. Snapping the blinds closed. Bringing in the entire teams of athletic groups and rubbing lotion on them, making them disrobe in front of him. Calling them back one at a time to commit sexual acts that are unspeakable here," said Alleged Victims' Attorney Ira Leesfield.
One of the victims claim sexual acts occurred more than 80 times. "He has flash backs of this man undoing his clothing and touching his genitals," said Leesfield.
The lawsuit also names Father Gustavo Miyares, a former Pace principal and Immaculate Conception Catholic School principal, where one of the men alleges the abuse began when he was 10 years old.
Miami-Dade Police investigated Ward in 2006 and interviewed one of the plaintiffs, but found no wrongdoing.
The Archdiocese of Miami spokesperson Mary Ross Agosta said. "We are here and we will provide you with physiological counseling and pastoral counseling, and that movement has been made, the offer has been made to all of the alleged victims in this case."
A Pace graduate, who wants to identify himself as Ruben, said he knew Ward and even did yard work and used the pool the men shared with other religious brothers. "To me, my brother, my family and my friends who we went to high school with, he never tried anything or never heard of anything that he would be capable of doing something like this," Ruben said.
Pace alumni received an email, which reads in part: "We take these allegations very seriously and have notified legal authorities so that appropriate investigations and notifications can be undertaken."
After leaving Pace, Ward worked at Christopher Columbus High School for two years. He is now working as a nurse in Fort Lauderdale.
Leesfield, who is representing the alleged victims, said he expects more defendants to be named and more plaintiffs to come forward.
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