“I knew, everyone knew. It was on the front page of the Spokesman-Review. I was reassured by Jesuits that someone will be watching him all the time, whenever he left the Bea House.” These were the words of Pete Tormey, Gonzaga University’s associate director of public relations, in my phone conversation with him on Dec. 20.
Since the story broke last month, the reporting surrounding the child sexual abuse scandal at Gonzaga has mirrored the school’s relative silence on the matter. Two university officials resigning was sufficient, it seems. Gonzaga owes more to the native children and other survivors of this abhorrent violence - because university leadership knew. It knew, and yet it did nothing.
In his sole statement about the scandal, President McCulloh stated that sometime after 2011 he knew about “safety plans” at the Bea House. Yet, simultaneously, he stated he did not know abusers were housed on campus. His deniability is implausible and directly undermined by Mr. Tormey’s account.
Survivors deserve accountability, not further inaction and disingenuous excuses from a university that hid sexual abusers on its campus for decades.
Tim Murphy, Gonzaga Alum