A Miami priest accused of sex abuse for fourth time shrouds Miami archdiocese in controversy
Tony Simmons says he ran away from his parents’ home and was living on the streets when the Rev. Rolando Garcia offered him a helping hand at the Church of the Little Flower in Hollywood.
“I was pretty lost,” Simmons, 34, told The Miami Herald. “Father Garcia was the only person who talked to me. He was my friend.”
Last week, Simmons, a decorated U.S. Army specialist who served in the Iraq war, accused Garcia in a lawsuit of sexually abusing him during the mid-1990s, starting when he was 16 years old.
For the first time in recent memory, Miami’s Catholic Church leaders reacted defensively to his negligence suit, the latest of more than 100 filed against the local archdiocese since the clergy-sex abuse scandal broke nationwide a decade ago.
Even before church officials saw Simmons’ suit, the archdiocese issued an unprecedented statement on Tuesday suggesting that if the news media wanted to write a “bala...
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.