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Bachmann v. Gummersbach



Type of Case:


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Civil or Criminal: 

Other victims, Advisory organization

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Bachmann v. Gummersbach was a 1994 case precipitated by Henry Bachmann’s recovered memories of being sodomized in 1964 by Rev. James Gummersbach in the basement of the Church of Immaculate Conception in St. Louis. Bachmann began to recover memories of abuse in response to " a sharp reprimand from his boss" in 1992. More memories began to return as he sought counseling over the next two years. In March, 1999, a jury awarded $1.2 million in this repressed memory case, the first such civil trial in Missouri. The plaintiff’s lawyers introduced corroborating evidence that the archdiocese “knew of Gummersbach’s propensity to harm children and did nothing about it.” Three other men also testified at the trial about abuse they had experienced at Gummersbach's hands, corroborating Bachmann's claims. One claimed that, "that he later told St. Gregory's monsignor about the incident but that Gummersbach remained at the church as if nothing had happened" (Associated Press 1999). See also Bryant 1999.


1. Associated Press. (1999, March 2). Man Awarded $1.2M in Abuse Case. AP News.

2. Bryant, T. (1999, February 24). Man Alleges That Priest Assaulted Him as 13 Others Testify of Incidents in Suit against Archdiocese. St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

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