Sex-abuse claims against former Puyallup priest end in settlement

The Archdiocese of Seattle has settled a case alleging sexual abuse by a priest who worked in Puyallup in the 1970s, the archdiocese announced Wednesday.

Father John Forrester, who died in 2002, served as the assistant pastor of All Saints Parish on 3rd Street Southwest from 1975 to 1978.

The archdiocese, St. Benedict’s Abbey and The American-Cassinese Congregation paid $225,000 to Forrester’s victims in June, according to spokesperson Helen McClenahan.

“In addition to the settlement money, every individual who comes forward is offered a pastoral meeting with the Archbishop and counseling with a counselor of their choice, paid for by the archdiocese,” McClenahan told The News Tribune.

The Archdiocese of Seattle released a list in 2016 of priests accused of sexually assaulting children while serving or living in Western Washington. The list contains 77 clergy, including Forrester, for whom allegations of sexual abuse of a minor were deemed credible.

The archdiocese received a complaint of sexual abuse against Forrester in 1979 and immediately removed him from service, McClenahan said.

Forrester served as priest at Holy Rosary in Seattle from 1974 to 1975, moved to Puyallup, and then to St. Anthony in Kent in 1978. His last assignment was at St. Francis of Assisi in Seahurst in 1979, according to the archdiocese.

The Archdiocese of Seattle reached a second settlement for $250,000 in August involving two members of the Christian Brothers of Ireland, Brother Frank Delamere and Brother William Donohue, who also were on the accused clergy list.

Delamere and Donohue were accused of sexual abuse the 1960s at the Briscoe Memorial School, a Catholic orphanage and boarding school in Kent. The school closed in the 1970s.

The Archdiocese of Seattle includes 169 parishes spanning across Western Washington, from Canada to Oregon. The archdiocese created “Protect and Heal” outlining the history of sexual abuse in the church.

To report suspicion of abuse by Church personnel, contact local law enforcement.

Josephine Peterson covers Pierce County and Puyallup for The News Tribune and The Puyallup Herald. She previously worked at The News Journal in Delaware as the crime reporter and interned at The Washington Post.