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DETROIT (ChurchMilitant.com) - Officials at Polish Catholic Orchard Lake Schools are fielding yet another lawsuit related to sexual misconduct.
In less than 90 days, three former employees and a former student have filed lawsuits against the institution claiming various injustices stemming from sexual misconduct.
The most recent suit, filed Thursday in U. S. District Court, involves a student reportedly sexually harassed by other students. The lawsuit further alleges that a teacher, who is the student's father, was wrongfully terminated after reporting the incident.
Orchard Lake Schools is comprised of three entities, St. Mary's Preparatory High School, Sts. Cyril & Methodius Seminary and the Polish Mission. The most recent lawsuit involves a St. Mary's student, Charles Ambrose and his father, Don Ambrose, who taught English at the school.
According to the lawsuit, Charles Ambrose was part of a Kairos retreat where, "on the evening of March 20, 2019 ... eight or more of Charles Ambrose's peers ran down the hall yelling, 'let's get Ambrose!' then loudly and aggressively entered ... his room as he lay in bed."
The students were attempting to force Charles Ambrose to play sexualized "games." The lawsuit details how the games were "played":
One such "game" the students played was called "naked bowling," in which they would undress in the large locker room-style shower, coat the shower with soap and water, and roll or throw a naked student onto the floor in order to topple the standing naked students acting as "pins."
In the other "game," called "stanky pretzel," a naked student would sit on another student's face.
A recent graduate of St. Mary's told Church Militant that he was not surprised by what the lawsuit described.
"I made a number of very good friends at St. Mary's, but especially among the hockey and lacrosse athletes, there was a culture of sexual shenanigans — mostly because their locker room was not well supervised," the alumnus explained.
The St. Mary's graduate specifically called out defendant Marcus Sheena, the school's campus minister and hockey coach.
"Sheena has admitted to me that he has engaged in homosexual behavior," the alumnus reported. "I have the texts."
"Given what I knew about Sheena, I always thought he should resign from his position as campus minister. But now, seeing that he continues to stay in his current role, he's got to be stopped," the former student continued.
The graduate's comments are echoed in the lawsuit. It reports on Sheena's reputation:
Members of the high school's hockey team, including those on the Kairos retreat, often "played" these "games" in the high school locker room and in the hockey arena's locker rooms. Sheena, as a hockey coach, was aware of and condoned the student athletes on the hockey team who instigated these sexualized "games."
Charles Ambrose was able to fight off his attackers but was left emotionally traumatized.
Charles reported what happened to his father, Don Ambrose, a long-time and well-respected member of the faculty.
Don Ambrose took the case to the headmaster, who dismissed the incident as "ranked at about a '5' on a scale of 1 to 10." The faculty member then reported the incident to Chancellor Miroslaw Krol. Nine days later, Don Ambrose was fired.
Canon Krol stands accused of terminating two other employees. He personally recruited and hired the two men, is alleged to have sexually harassed them once they were on the job, and then fired them when they reported the harassment to school officials.
Krol was a protégé of defrocked former cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who ordained him in 1993.
Orchard Lake Schools is standing by their men. In a statement reported in the Detroit News, Stephen Gross, chair of the Orchard Lake Schools Board of Regents, said: "While it would be inappropriate to comment on the dismissal of any employee, there are multiple false allegations made in this lawsuit. We plan to present the truth in court."
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