Diocese of Phoenix subject of sexual abuse lawsuit

| Sep 8, 2020 | criminal defense, sex crimes |

Two lawsuits filed on Sept. 2 in Arizona have named the Diocese of Phoenix as well as a church connected to the Diocese as the defendants. The complaint alleges that a priest sexually abused two young boys in 1970 who were members of St. Thomas the Apostle Parish.
Diocese of Phoenix

An attorney for the now-adult men says that they had to wait decades to see transparency from the Phoenix Bishop regarding pedophiles operating within the Diocese. The priest accused of the abuse was ordained in 1945 and served at multiple churches in Arizona over a long career. He died in 1997.

Multiple sexual accusations were acknowledged by the Diocese of Tucson against the same priest nearly two decades ago in 2002. A year later, the Diocese of Phoenix had the priest’s name removed from the church hall at St. Thomas. The lawsuit filed by the St. Thomas victims alleges the Diocese did nothing to protect them from the priest and covered up evidence of the abuse.

In 2019, the bishop for the catholic church in Phoenix addressed the history of abuse associated with the church in 2019. The bishop asserted that his Diocese is much different now than it was when sexual abuse seemed to run rampant throughout the catholic church.

The bishop extended his apologies to the victims of church sexual abuse. He also urged victims of abuse within the Diocese of Phoenix to come forward so that the church can aid them in their healing process. The Arizona Child Victims Act makes it possible for individuals in the state to file lawsuits in response to abuse suffered as children until the end of the 2020 calendar year.

Those accused of sexual crimes face lengthy jail terms and destroyed reputations. That’s why it’s important for anyone facing such accusations reach out to a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.