Sex-Abuse Scandal Hits Local Theatines Order

April 22 2010, 10:00 AM

Recently, the Archdiocese of Denver dismissed the Reverend Melvin Thompson following a complaint of sexual abuse that allegedly occurred more than 35 years ago in an undisclosed Colorado parish. Now, a lawsuit alleging sexual abuse has been filed against the Theatines, a Catholic religious order based in Colorado. But the suit, filed in Denver County District Court, has nothing to do with Thompson. A "John Doe" plaintiff names the Reverend Mark Matson, who worked as the rector at St. Andrew's Seminary, reports 7News. Calls from The Denver Post to the Theatine Fathers order had not been returned at the time of the reporting. The alleged victim says he visited St. Andrew's as a prospective student as a boy in 1976 and stayed in student dorms when Matson allegedly fondled him. After enrolling in school, Matson allegedly continued to abuse him, finally raping him while he was unconscious and then expelling the boy for marijuana possession after he tried to confront Matson. No criminal complaint was ever filed. Matson, whose status as a priest is unknown, was previously accused of molesting boys in Colorado, California, and Hawaii, where he was convicted in 2000 and is now in prison.

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