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Former local Catholic elementary school student claims teacher sexually assaulted him

PITTSBURGH — A former St. Bernard School student has filed a lawsuit claiming he was sexually assaulted by a male teacher when he attended the Catholic elementary school.

The lawsuit has been filed against the teacher, the school and the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh.

"My client like so many others was a very young boy when horrific things happened to him by a teacher in Catholic school," said attorney Rob Pierce.

Channel 11 is not naming the teacher because he is not facing criminal charges. He no longer teachers at St. Bernard, but according to Pierce, he is still teaching at a school in the Diocese.

According to the lawsuit, the alleged victim claims he was sexually assaulted numerous times while he was a student at the elementary school.


The victim said the abuse happened in a classroom, and it began after he started struggling in math and sought tutoring help from the teacher.

According to the lawsuit, the victim tried to repress memories of the teacher’s “horrendous actions, as they were too painful to relive.”

It is alleged in the lawsuit that the teacher sexually assaulted the student on at least five different occasions.

Pierce said his client is now suing because he was denied participation in the Independent reconciliation and compensation program which handles cases of sex abuse of minors by clergy.

"The Diocese is aware because they are the ones who put the rule in place - that those abused by non-priests are not allowed to participate -that led to us filing the lawsuit," Pierce said.

Channel 11 reached out to the Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese for a response to the lawsuit. We were told, "We have not yet seen the legal documents on this matter and are unable to comment."