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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release
Giving Voice to Victims

Clergy sex abuse victim files new lawsuit against fugitive

It’s the first of what may be dozens more, thanks to new ruling

Two weeks ago, a judge loosened California’s statute of limitations

Man was repeatedly molested in 1980s by cleric who has fled to Mexico

At a news conference, a clergy sex abuse victim & one of his attorneys will
--- discuss a new civil child molestation lawsuit against a fugitive predator priest,
--- disclose that three brothers in one family were sexually assaulted by priests,
--- explain that this is the first of perhaps dozens more sex abuse lawsuits, thanks to a recent Appeals Court ruling that relaxes the statute of limitations.

They will also urge
-- the Sacramento County District Attorney to work harder to extradite the predator from Mexico, and
-- anyone who saw, suspected or suffered abuse by this priest (or other clergy) to come forward, get help, and call police.

Thursday, Feb. 26, 1:00 p.m.

At the law office of Joseph George, 2431 Capitol Avenue, in Sacramento

A Sacramento man who was molested by a priest and one of his attorneys, who has represented hundreds of adults abused as kids in institutional settings.

In the mid-1980s, Fr. Jose Luis Urbina repeatedly abused a then 11 or 12 year old boy several places, including a swimming pool and St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Rio Vista. The priest persuaded the boy’s mom to get a divorce, then molested one of her three sons. Her other sons were sexually assaulted by two other publicly accused predator priests: Fr. Francisco Garcia and Fr. Gerardo Beltran.

This new lawsuit is believed to be the first brought under a ruling earlier this month by a three judge northern California appeals panel. The decision relaxed the statute of limitations and opened the doors to more civil lawsuits from victims who were molested as children (but who only discovered the source of their adult difficulties in recent years). More and more judges across the country, SNAP says, are gradually realizing that many who were sexually assaulted during their youth don't realize that the childhood crimes caused on-going and severe trauma that still impacts them years later as adults.

In 1989, Urbina pled guilty to “committing lewd acts with a child” but then fled the US. Since then, he’s been living and working in the city of Navojoa, Sonora, Mexico. As recently as last summer, he was saying mass and presenting himself in public as a priest.

In 2003, Urbina was sued for the first time for abuse.

The new suit seeks a jury trial and charges the Sacramento diocese with negligence and fraud. St. Paul attorney Jeff Anderson, who has represented hundreds of child sex abuse victims across the country, is co-counsel on the case.

Attorney Joseph George of Sacramento 916 442 7100, 916 802 7949 cell
Attorney Jeff Anderson of St. Paul MN 651 227 9990, 612 817 8665 cell
Francisco "Chico" Chavez (survivor of a different Sacramento predator priest) 916 879 3695
David Clohessy, SNAP national director 314-566-9790 cell, 314-645-5915

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests