340 F.3d 558 (8th Cir. 2003), 03-1006, Pecoraro v. Sky Ranch for Boys, Inc.

Docket Nº:03-1006
Citation:340 F.3d 558
Party Name:Pecoraro v. Sky Ranch for Boys, Inc.
Case Date:August 18, 2003
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit

Page 558

340 F.3d 558 (8th Cir. 2003)

Gerald P. PECORARO, Appellant,


SKY RANCH FOR BOYS, INC., a South Dakota Corporation; Sky Ranch Foundation, Inc., a South Dakota Corporation; Diocese of Rapid City, a South Dakota Corporation, Appellees.

No. 03-1006.

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

August 18, 2003

Submitted: June 19, 2003.

Page 559

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 560

James Polack, argued, Omaha, NE, for appellant.

William A. May, argued, Rapid City, SD (Heather M. Lammers, Rapid City, on the brief), for appellee Sky Ranch. (Jeffrey L. Viken and Kenneth R. Dewell, Rapid City, on the brief), for appellee Diocese of Rapid City, Inc.

Before BOWMAN, BEAM, and RILEY, Circuit Judges.

BEAM, Circuit Judge.

Gerald P. Pecoraro appeals the dismissal of his complaint for lack of personal jurisdiction and for improper venue. We reverse in part, affirm in part and remand.


Pecoraro was fourteen years old and a resident of Nebraska when, in 1965, his parents sent him to Sky Ranch for Boys, Inc. (Sky Ranch) in South Dakota. Father Donald Murray, now deceased, was the director of Sky Ranch at that time. Pecoraro alleges that Father Murray sexually assaulted him on three occasions in 1965 and 1966: twice at Sky Ranch in South Dakota and once in a hotel room in Chicago, Illinois.

At one point after the first assault, Father Murray, Pecoraro, and Pecoraro's father all spoke at a Sky Ranch fund-raiser in Omaha, Nebraska, but neither Pecoraro nor Father Murray said anything to Pecoraro's father about the incident. Pecoraro

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returned to Sky Ranch with Father Murray. After the third assault, Pecoraro and another boy approached one of their counselors at Sky Ranch and told the counselor that Father Murray had sexually assaulted them. Sky Ranch closed down shortly after the counselor reported Pecoraro's allegations to the Bishop of the Diocese of Rapid City (the Diocese), and Pecoraro returned to Nebraska.

Several months later Omaha police arrested Pecoraro while he was a passenger in a stolen vehicle. He was sent to the Nebraska State Training School (NSTS) in Kearney, Nebraska. Father Murray then contacted NSTS, informed officials there that Sky Ranch had re-opened, and requested custody of Pecoraro. NSTS agreed. Father Murray flew the Sky Ranch airplane to Kearney, picked up Pecoraro, stopped in Omaha for another fund-raising dinner, then took Pecoraro to a different ranch in Aladdin, Wyoming, for the summer. He later moved Pecoraro to a private residence in Belle Fourche, South Dakota, for about one year. Father Murray then tried to force Pecoraro to enlist in the...

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