Sex abuse crisis in Episcopal School: “Oh, if only Episcopal Laity could get married!”

This is old news, but back in October 2000, a jury awarded one of the largest lawsuit awards in the history of Charleston: $15 million to victims of sexual abuse at Porter-Gaud Episcopal School in Charleston.

Due to state caps on how much a non-profit can be sued for (where’s that for the Catholic Church?), as well as limit’s set by the school’s insurance, the actual awards were reduced–and no one seemed to be saying “Let’s bring down the Episcopal Church” over the case.

A teacher named Eddie Fischer sexually abused more than 40 students between the years of 1971 and 1982.

Flowers told the jurors they shouldn’t consider Eddie Fischer’s culpability in their deliberations. Noting Fischer pleaded guilty to an array of sex abuse charges a year and a half ago, Flowers added, “Eddie Fischer accepted responsibility. The reason we’re here today is that he’s the only one who has accepted responsibility.”

He described Eddie Fischer as “an animal” that Porter-Gaud could have “put in a cage.”

Longtime Porter-Gaud principal James Bishop Alexander committed suicide shortly before he was to be deposed in the case.

Flowers then recalled the testimony of another student, William Baker, who said he had sexual contact with Alexander when he was a child.

Flowers asked: Why didn’t Alexander stop Fischer from abusing children in 1979?

He paused. “Because (Alexander) was doing the same thing.”

Fischer was forced to resign in 1982 after a family threatened to go to the police. Later, he received a letter of apology from headmaster Berkeley Grimball. Grimball and Alexander gave Fischer a positive recommendation for a job at James Island Christian School, where he molested even more students.

Another James Island Teacher was accused of molesting teenaged girls, and an Episcopal minister from Johns Island Episcopal Church in Charleston was also charged with child molestation.

Years ago, on a forum (I think Catholic Answers), a convert said that anyone who thinks the Catholic Church is worse because of celibacy is deluding themselves. He said that, when he was growing up Episcopalian, the boys knew exactly which priests to steer clear of.

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