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The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

New lawsuit filed involving predator priest

It charges top Houston Catholic officials with fraud

Child molesting cleric reportedly molested several kids

He was first publicly accused of abuse just three months ago

WHAT
At a sidewalk news conference, an attorney will
-- disclose and discuss an unusual new child sex abuse and cover up lawsuit against Houston diocesan officials, and
-- urge anyone who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes or misdeeds to come forward and get help.

WHEN
Tuesday, Nov. 9, 1:30 p.m.

WHERE
Outside the Harris County Courthouse, 201 Caroline, in Houston TX

WHO
A Longview attorney who represents several other individuals who have been molested by clergy

WHY
In a new civil lawsuit, Guadalupe Gonzales accuses top Houston Catholic officials of fraud for ignoring and/or concealing the crimes and sexual misdeeds of Fr. Lawrence Peguero. Gonzales says Peguero molested her in the 1960s while a priest at Our Lady of St. John Catholic Church (7500 Hirsch, 713 631 0810). At the time, Peguero was the pastor and Gonzales was a parishioner.

The suit, filed today in Houston state district court, charges church staff with three types of fraud and seeks unspecified damages. It is unusual because instead of focusing on the alleged sexual abuse by the priest, it focuses on the alleged complicity of church staff who “knew or should have known” that Peguero “was a child molester and knew or should have known that Peguero was a danger to children.”

In July, four adults from Texas and Georgia filed a similar lawsuit against the Houston diocese involving alleged crimes by Peguero in the 1970s. It is still pending.

Peguero died in November 2000 at age 79. According to the Houston Chronicle, “Peguero, a Port Arthur native, was ordained in 1947 and then served as assistant pastor at St. Anne Church in Beaumont. He also served at Beaumont St. Joseph in 1956 before becoming priest at Our Lady of St. John in Houston 1957. He retired in 1993 at the age of 72.”

Today, Fr. Edwin Coreas is St. John’s pastor (http://ourladyofsaintjohns.com/default.aspx).

Gonzales, now in her early 60s, lives in Humble, Texas.

CONTACT
Attorney John D. Sloan Jr. (903) 757 7000, 101 E. Whaley Street, Longview, TX 75601, jsloan@sloanfirm.com
Attorney J. Ryan Fowler (903) 757-7000, 101 E. Whaley Street, Longview, TX 75601, rfowler@sloanfirm.com
David Clohessy of SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests(314) 566 9790 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)


Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
www.snapnetwork.org
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