, who headed Saint Louis University from 1974-1978, is facing the threat of a lawsuit from a New York woman who claims the priest sexually abused her decades ago.
According to the Survivor's Network of those Abused by Priests
(SNAP), O'Connell assaulted the woman when she was a 20-year-old student studying in Rome. At the time, neither party were affiliated with Saint Louis University.
In 2003 the woman allegedly reached an agreement with the Jesuits prohibiting O'Connell from working in "public priestly ministry (including teaching, campus
ministry, counseling or giving directed retreats that would allow him to
cultivate relationships with women, and that he not seek or maintain
faculties in the diocese where he is lives)."
Now SNAP and the woman, who will file suit as "Jane Doe", say that O'Connell and the Jesuits are in violation of the agreement because he's recently taught classes and given lectures at numerous schools, including Georgetown and universities in Germany.
In response to the allegations the Jesuits of the Missouri Provinence released a statement
"We understand that the woman, who is bringing the lawsuit, is identified in the suit as Jane Doe M.B. She entered into a settlement and signed a full release with the Missouri Province in 2003. It is the opinion of the Jesuits of the Missouri Province that they have honored the terms and conditions of the agreement."