Two New Priests Accused of Abuse in the Diocese of Las Cruces
Two more priests from the Diocese of Las Cruces have been accused of sexual abuse and we call on Catholic officials to do extensive outreach to their parish communities about these allegations, sharing the information and encouraging victims and witnesses to come forward and make a report to the police.
According to lawsuits filed this week, Fr. Roderick Nichols and Fr. Damian Gamboa have been accused of abusing children in the 1990s and 1980s respectively. Because we know that abusers rarely have just one victim, we call on Bishop Peter Baldacchino to personally visit each parish where these men were assigned and encourage anyone with information to contact law enforcement immediately. He should also use parish bulletins, pulpit announcements, and diocesan websites to augment this outreach.
With these two names, at least 43 abusers have been identified that spent time in the Diocese of Las Cruces. This large number means that there has been at least one abuser for every 2500 parishioners in the area, a ratio that is higher than most dioceses in the country. We hope that these disclosures will inspire other survivors to come forward and help prevent future cases of abuse, find justice and healing, and paint a clearer picture of the real toll of abuse in southern New Mexico.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)