Lawsuit: Priest Fondled Teen From First Night In Dorms

John Doe Suing Colorado Catholic Religious Order

A new child sex abuse lawsuit has been filed against the Theatines, a Catholic religious order based in Colorado.

The lawsuit, John Doe v. The Theatine Fathers, Inc. was filed in Denver County District Court late Tuesday, according to the law firm Mermelstein & Horowitz, P.A.

The lawsuit alleges that John Doe was sexually abused by Rev. Mark Matson while Matson worked as the rector at St. Andrew’s Seminary. The law firm press release stated that Matson has been the subject of multiple sexual abuse complaints. However, a Google search revealed no media sources to corroborate that.

Attorneys for John Doe said Doe met Matson on a visit to St. Andrew’s Seminary as a prospective student in 1976. John Doe stayed in the student dorms and Matson fondled him during the night, the suit alleges.

When John Doe later enrolled in the ninth grade at St. Andrew’s, Matson allegedly continued to abuse the boy throughout the school year. Eventually, Matson raped John Doe while he was unconscious, the lawsuit states. When John Doe tried to confront Matson about the incident, Matson expelled him, claiming to have found marijuana in Doe’s personal belongings.

Matson had faced charges in Colorado for alleged abuse in 1988 but prosecutors dropped that case, Matson was also acquitted of charges of fondling a youth in California in 1989, according to the Associated Press.

Matson was convicted in 2000 for allegedly fondling a 13-year-old boy in Hawaii and is now serving a 20-year-prison sentence.

John Doe is 49 years old. He resides in the Denver area.

Calls to the Theatine order were not returned Wednesday morning. The Theatines are an independent Catholic religious community, according to the Denver Archdiocese.

"The community enters into agreements to serve in various dioceses, but oversight and jurisdiction for individual members remains with the [Theatine] community," said Tracy Murphy, an associate director of communications for the Archdiocese of Denver.

A copy of the lawsuit is available on the Mermelstein & Horowitz, P.A. website.