Lawsuit Alleges Past Sexual Abuse at Miami Gardens Catholic School

In a lawsuit, three former students accuse Brother Kenneth Ward of sexually abusing them while he was the dean of students from 2000 to 2006.

By Myriam Masihy
|  Wednesday, Aug 28, 2013  |  Updated 9:21 PM EDT
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Horrifying accusations of sexual abuse are being leveled against a former teacher at Monsignor Edward Pace High School in Miami Gardens. In a lawsuit, three former students accuse Brother Kenneth Ward of sexually abusing them while he was the dean of students from 2000 to 2006.

Horrifying accusations of sexual abuse are being leveled against a former teacher at Monsignor Edward Pace High School in Miami Gardens. In a lawsuit, three former students accuse Brother Kenneth Ward of sexually abusing them while he was the dean of students from 2000 to 2006.

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Horrifying accusations of sexual abuse are being leveled against a former teacher at Monsignor Edward Pace High School in Miami Gardens.

In a lawsuit, three former students accuse Brother Kenneth Ward of sexually abusing them while he was the dean of students from 2000 to 2006.

Attorney Ira Leesfield represents the alleged victims and says: "This was not isolated. It wasn't one time. In the case of one of the boys it was over 80 individual times that he was sexually abused. "

The Archdioceses of Miami is also named in the lawsuit filed on behalf of the three young men identified only as John Does.

The church is accused of ignoring obvious signs that the boys were being victimized by Ward.

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According to Leesfield, Ward would bring in entire athletic teams, lock the kids in his office, snap the blinds closed, make them disrobe and rub lotion on them. He would then allegedly call "them back one at a time to commit sexual acts that are unspeakable here," Leesfield says.

Archdiocese of Miami Spokesperson Mary Ross Agosta says the were "notified in October of 2012 that there we allegations being made against a former teacher who at the time was a religious brother, not a priest, a religious brother."

The Archdiocese then notified the state attorney's office and reached out to the alleged victims' through their attorney an offered counseling. Agosta also confirmed that in 2006, a teacher filed a police report regarding suspected abuse but following an investigation it was determined not to be a credible accusation.

The lawsuit also names another school, Immaculate Conception, where one of the alleged victims says Father Gustavo Miyares sexually abused him since he was a 10-year old alter boy. Miyares then transferred to Pace at the same time the boy did and later resigned after similar allegations surfaced.

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Ana Garcia, Monsignor Pace's principal sent out a message Wednesday, telling parents about the lawsuit and reassuring them this incident happened long ago and that their children are safe.

In the phone recording she says: "We have notified all alumni who attended our school during those years."

After leaving Pace, Ward transferred to Christopher Columbus High School and is now working as a psychiatric nurse. NBC 6 could not reach Kenneth Ward or Gustavo Miyares for comment.

Attorney Leesfield says a criminal investigation is underway by Miami Gardens Police and more lawsuits are expected to be filed next week.

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