Among the priests accused of sexual abuse who lived on the Gonzaga campus was Fr. James Poole, SJ.
In 2005, an Anchorage woman, Elsie Boudreau, settled for $1 million a lawsuit against Poole, his Jesuit province, and the Diocese of Fairbanks.
Boudreau's lawsuit claimed that she was molested by Poole, who was stationed in her home of Nome, Alaska, from the time she was 10 years old until she was 19, when she told him she would never be alone with him again.
The Fairbanks diocese paid half of the settlement, and the Oregon province paid the other half, according to a 2005 report in the Spokesman Review.
At the time of the settlement, Jesuit provincial Fr. John Whitney told the Spokane Spokesman Review that Poole had admitted the abuse, and was moved to Gonzaga campus in 2003, after his admission.
Poole would not be permitted to leave his residence on the Gonzaga campus unaccompanied, nor would he be permitted to be alone with visitors, Whitney said.
Whitney also told the Spokesman Review in 2005 that until Boudreau came forward, the Jesuit province had no idea that Poole had committed sexual abuse.
The Spokesman-Review, however, reported that Jesuit authorities knew since at least 1960 Poole had acted inappropriately in conversations with children about sex. Jesuit authorities said at that time that Poole had "a fixation on sex; an obsession."
And, despite Whitney's 2005 remarks, Jesuit officials were informed in 1997 by Bishop Michael Kaniecki, SJ, of Fairbanks that Poole had a history of sexual misconduct and abuse allegations; a fact that had been known to Kaniecki, himself a Jesuit, since 1986.
Whitney did not inform Gonzaga administrators or Spokane police that Poole and other residents were accused of sexually abuse. Despite the restrictions Whitney imposed on him, Poole regularly went to Gonzaga basketball games and its library, and met alone with a female student at least once.
On Dec. 18 Gonzaga University President Thayne McCulloh said he had not notified of that priests credibly accused of abuse were living on the university's campus until 2016, although he had learned "in the years following" 2011 that priests with safety plans had previously lived there.
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McCulloh said that he was wounded to learn that "the Society of Jesus had knowingly sent a man with Poole's record of sexual abuse to live in their facility within the parameters of our campus - which serves not only as the home of college students, but regularly hosts grade-school children and visitors of all ages - without notification by the Province to the University."
"I have asked that we be guaranteed that no Jesuit against whom credible allegations of sexual misconduct or abuse have been made ever be assigned to Gonzaga or the Jesuit communities here," McCulloh added.
A spokesman for the Jesuits West Province, which was formed by a 2017 merger of the Oregon and California provinces of the order, said Dec. 18 that "Jesuits West guarantees that no Jesuit with a credible allegation of sexual abuse of a minor is currently or will ever be knowingly assigned to Gonzaga University or the Jesuit community on its campus."
Such priests will instead live in a health care facility in California, the province said.