The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Release
Unusual new lawsuit says diocese is “criminally complicit”
It alleges recent, shocking move by a priest to silence other victims
Suit charges that in 2010, he publicly “chastised” those speaking up
It also names a pastor who reportedly yelled at his predatory assistant
Head priest had walked in on child molesting cleric & victim while dressing
SNAP urges others who “saw, suspected or suffered” clergy sex crimes to come forward
The suit charges that a 12 year old boy was repeatedly pulled out of class, given wine, and repeatedly raped and assaulted in a rectory two or three times a week for roughly six months by Fr. Louis White. The alleged crimes happened in 1976 at Sacred Heart parish (1009 Trail Street, Floresville, TX, 830-216-7706, http://www.archsa.org/ParishLocator/ParishInfo.aspx?ID=408)
Even more alarming, however, it claims that Sacred Heart’s then-pastor, Fr. Joseph Hybner, once walked in on the White and the boy dressing and “loudly scolded” White. (Hybner is currently at Sacred Heart Parish in Flatonia, Texas within the Victoria Diocese)
Further adding insult to injury, the suit says that earlier this year “the diocese sent a priest to Sacred Heart who chastised “anyone that would come forward about being abused and telling him them that they should do penance for themselves and the abuser priest.”
In 2009, the archdiocese disclosed that three priests (Fr. David Zumaya, Fr. Larry Hernandez and White) had molested a boy at San Fernando parish in San Antonio. Church officials listed the parishes where each priest had worked. But church officials did not reveal that White had also worked at Sacred Heart. (Later, they did disclose this fact.)
The suit claims church officials were “criminally complicit” because they “assisted and aided Father Louis in the commission of the sexual assaults (boys) by allowing him access to (kids) and failing to report Father Louis to law enforcement.” It also says that the “well established pattern” and “scheme” of the archdiocese was “recycle” abusive clerics and “to conceal the crimes against children” by priests. And it charges top church staff with “intentional infliction of emotional distress.” For these reasons, the lawsuit seeks punitive as well as actual damages.
The suit says that church staff “was aware or should have been aware of criminal acts of assault” by White.
According to the suit, the victim suffers or suffered “physical impairment,” “bodily injury” and “severe mental anguish.”
The victim, who is filing anonymously and will NOT be present at the news conference, is represented by Dallas attorneys Lori Watson (214-289-4882) and Tahira Merritt (214-537-3789), who have handled dozens/hundreds of child sex cases. The suit is being filed in Bexar County District Court. Defendants include White, Bishop Oscar Cantu and the diocese itself.
Next week, on the 23rd, the diocese gets a new archbishop - Gustavo Garcia-Siller, from Chicago.
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests