Lawsuit alleges rape and abuse by Harrisburg Catholic school teacher

Harrisburg

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – A lawsuit filed Tuesday states 58-year-old Patrick Duggan was given drugs and alcohol by his teacher then sexually abused and raped at the age of 13.

Duggan says he and his classmates frequently went to the home of their history teacher, Ronald Stewart, who taught at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic School in Harrisburg and lived next to school grounds.

“When you’re abused at the place you were sent to be protected, the people you believed were your protectors and guardians of your faith, when you’re abused there, it changes you,” said Duggan. 

He says he was given alcohol and hallucinogenic drugs and was sexually abused multiple times. 

The suit alleges church leaders knew what was happening and covered it up. The suit continues to state that Duggan’s parents reported to the parish Steward was giving drugs to students. 

“We can confirm the teacher in question was reported to law enforcement in 1993 after the only known allegation against him was first reported to the diocese,” the diocese of Harrisburg said in a statement. 

“That was 19 years after he began giving drugs and sexually abusing Patrick,” said attorney Richard Serbin. 

Duggan’s statute of limitations has run out but his lawyer will try to prove a cover-up and conspiracy. Duggan was not able to apply for the Diocese victim’s compensation fund. 

“Because he was abused by his Catholic school teacher, was ineligible to make a claim,” said Serbin. 

Patrick Duggan is a current employee of ABC27 but does not work in the newsroom. 

Watch the full interview with Duggan in the below video.

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