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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Ex-Fort Lewis priest sued for sex abuse

Associated Press

TACOMA – A Thurston County man is suing a priest and several Catholic organizations over sexual abuse he says occurred at Fort Lewis in the 1980s while he was a teenager.

The plaintiff, who is anonymous in the Pierce County Superior Court lawsuit, has filed suit against the Rev. Reinard Beaver, the Archdiocese for the Military Services, the archbishop of Seattle and the bishop of Spokane. Beaver, who lives in Steilacoom and was a chaplain at Fort Lewis from 1960 to 1986, has been sued by at least three other men who say he abused them. He was removed from public ministry in 1988 after complaints surfaced.

The plaintiff said he regularly attended Mass at Fort Lewis in 1982 with his family and that Beaver used his status as the family’s chaplain to exploit and abuse him. His attorney, Mike Pfau, said the abuse began when the plaintiff was 12 or 13 and happened at the family’s house and during a trip to Walla Walla for a church service.

The lawsuit said Beaver resumed abusing the boy in 1984 when his family returned to Fort Lewis after being stationed in Germany and continued the molestation until 1986.

“All these things are pretty ambiguous,” Beaver, 75, told the News Tribune on Thursday. “I can’t make much comment without knowing who it is.”

Calls from the News Tribune and the Associated Press did not reach anyone at the Archdiocese for Military Services who could comment on the case.

Greg Magnoni, a Seattle Archdiocese spokesman, said Beaver was not supervised by or under the authority of the Seattle archbishop.

Pfau said the lawsuit will be amended to remove the Spokane bishop. There is a stay against suing the Diocese of Spokane since it filed for bankruptcy last month.