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Croyle v. United States

United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division

September 22, 2017

MICHAEL DANIEL CROYLE, by and Through SANDRA G. CROYLE, as his Parent and legal guardian, Plaintiff,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Defendant.

          OPINION, MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

          HENRY EDWARD AUTREY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         This matter is before the Court on Defendant's Motion to Dismiss, [Doc. No. 9]. Defendant moves to dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction and failure to state a claim on which relief can be granted under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6), respectively. Plaintiff opposes the Motion. For the reasons set forth below, the Motion will be granted.

         Facts and Background

         Plaintiff's Complaint alleges:

         Reverend Mark Matson (“Reverend Matson”) was a Catholic priest who was a member of the Theatines religious order. Reverend Matson graduated from Seminary in 1972 and was ordained as a Catholic priest in 1976.

         In 1997 through 1998, Reverend Matson served as a priest and Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (“C.C.D.”) religious teacher at Tripler Army Medical Center in Hawaii (“Tripler”). His services were procured by way of a contract that Tripler signed with the Theatine Fathers in Honolulu, Hawaii.

         Tripler is the headquarters of the Pacific Regional Medical Command of the United States armed forces and was commissioned and is administered by the United States Army (“Army”).

         Upon information and belief, the Army and/or Tripler had the right to control the details of the day-to-day performance of the duties of Reverend Matson and/or supervised the day-to-day operations of Reverend Matson and/or exercised day-to-day control over the activities of Reverend Matson. Upon information and belief, this control and/or supervision included, but was not limited to, the following:

(a) The Army and/or Tripler would determine for all patients at admission their religion and would daily provide the names of those patients to Reverend Matson, to whom Reverend Matson would provide religious service;
(b) Based on the above providing of names, Reverend Matson would make daily or regular visits to those patients offering religious service;
(c) The Army and/or Tripler provided Reverend Matson an office area;
(d) The Army and/or Tripler provided Reverend Matson support staff at the Tripler facility;
(e) The Army and/or Tripler provided Reverend Matson with a military assistant who coordinated his activities and his providing of religious service;
(f) Reverend Matson was designated by the Army and/or Tripler to be the administrator in charge of the C.C.D. classes at Tripler which included supervision over the C.C.D. teachers, most of whom were volunteers from the base;
(g) The Army and/or Tripler would procure and schedule, as needed, the attendance and religious services of Reverend Matson for military ceremonies and festivities, including the providing of prayers and benedictions at such;
(h) Reverend Matson performed daily mass at Tripler upon the request of and/or scheduled by the Army and/or Tripler;
(i) Reverend Matson provided religious service and support at other military chapels on the base and to other military personnel around the base as requested and as needed by the Army and/or Tripler;
(j) Reverend Matson regularly reported to the Army and/or Tripler his activities;
(k) The Army and/or Tripler evaluated the performance of Reverend Matson; and
(1) The Army and/or Tripler had and exercised the ability to terminate the services of Reverend Matson.

         In about 1996 through about 1999, MICHAEL's father was a physician in the United States Army and was stationed at Tripler. Michael, along with his parents and sister lived off base the first year and then on base afterwards.

         While stationed there, Michael and his family attended church services in the chapel at Tripler. Reverend Matson led the services there with great pomp and circumstance, always surrounded by children.

         At the end of Sunday services, Michael and the other children would leave their parents in the chapel to attend C.C.D. classes in the nearby rooms. After C.C.D. classes, the children would return to their parents in the chapel.

         Between about August 1997 through Spring 1998, when Michael was approximately 8 years old, Reverend Matson would escort Michael out of the chapel for C.C.D. classes, but instead of taking him for classes, Reverend Matson diverted him to a room and sexually assaulted Michael. Michael remembers being sexually assaulted by Reverend Matson at least 6 times.

         As to the first sexual assault at Tripler, while still in the chapel, Reverend Matson asked Michael if he wanted to see a magic trick. He then took Michael to a room and had him sit down. Reverend Matson put Michael's head on his thigh and Michael saw Reverend Matson's penis causing his robe to rise. Reverend Matson performed oral sex on Michael. While doing so, Reverend Matson masturbated himself. He also spanked Michael's buttocks.

         The second time Reverend Matson sexually assaulted Michael at Tripler, he again performed oral sex on Michael while masturbating himself and spanked Michael's buttocks.

         The third time Reverend Matson sexually assaulted Michael at Tripler, he took Michael to a room and had Michael pull down his pants. Reverend Matson put his hands on Michael's waist and performed anal sex on Michael. This caused Michael great pain. Reverend Matson ejaculated on Michael's back. During the third sexual assault, Reverend Matson told Michael that he would go to hell if Michael told anyone what had occurred. This warning reverberated in Michael's head as he heard Reverend Matson's voice during Sunday services. Reverend Matson also confused Michael by telling him what they were doing was normal. Michael had a continuing obsession with the idea that he was evil and was going to hell because of what he was doing with Reverend Matson.

         Other sexual assaults of Michael at Tripler also included Reverend Matson forcing Michael to touch Reverend Matson's penis and perform oral sex on Reverend Matson.

         Reverend Matson's sexual abuse of Michael caused Michael to be sexualized and obsessed with sex since the abuse, which included Michael surfing internet porn and seeking out sexual encounters with strangers.

         Reverend Matson also told Michael that his parents knew about the sexual acts he was committing upon Michael and that they approved of them and had arranged for them to take place. This caused Michael to greatly resent his parents ...


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