CONCORD (KRON) — On the sidewalk outside De La Salle High School in Concord, former student Jay Hoey announcing the lawsuit he’s filed against his old school, it’s founders and religious order, the Christian brothers and his former teacher, known as Brother Joseph Gutierrez.
Hoey claims Gutierrez drugged and sexually abused him multiple times from 1968 to 1972.
“I’ve suffered from anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, you know, have been diagnosed with bipolar, PTSD. Pretty much everything you can think of,” Hoey said.
Hoey says he didn’t come to grips with the extent of the abuse until 2015, when he had a brain tumor surgically removed.
Gutierrez is on the official diocese of Oakland’s credibly accused clerics list.
He was also accused in a separate civil lawsuit in 2003, of abusing another De La Salle High School student.
Hoey’s legal team says that case closed with the plaintiff receiving a $4 million settlement.
“Jay has suffered for 50 years, waiting for an opportunity at transparency, accountability and justice. So, this is a great day for Jay and all those of us who work for transparency in the Catholic Church and justice,” said former priest Tim Stier.
This week, Hoey filed the complaint for damages after Gov. Gavin Newsom paved the way.
He signed an assembly bill this month, allowing childhood sexual abuse victims, regardless of their age or the amount of time past since the abuse occurred, a three year window ending in 2022 to sue people who have committed or concealed the abuse.
“The attorney general is looking into the reporting, practices of all religious entities, and orders in the State of California,” said Attorney Joseph George. “That’s an on-going investigation, and many victims are hopeful that eventually a grand jury will be formed, which will have a lot far greater reach than we do in the civil justice system.”
Hoey hopes coming forward serves as an example for other victims to report their abusers.
He says he’s filed his lawsuit as soon as possible, in hopes of having Gutierrez deposed under oath while he’s still alive.