Another lawsuit planned against Catholic Church
DENVER – Attorneys for a man who claims he was sexually abused by a priest say they will file another multimillion-dollar lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Denver.It would be the third lawsuit claiming the archdiocese knew of allegations that the priest, Harold Robert White, who once worked for the archdiocese in Minturn, was sexually abusing young boys but only transferred him to different parishes. White has since left the priesthood.The latest suit will allege White abused Greg Roberts of Fort Collins beginning in the late 1960s while Roberts was an altar boy at a Roman Catholic Church in Sterling, according to a draft of the suit provided by Herman & Mermelstein, a Miami-based law firm specializing in sexual abuse cases.Archdiocese chancellor Francis Maier said he could not comment because church officials had not seen the complaint.”The plaintiffs have put us in a position where they know we can’t say anything,” he said.Two recent articles in The Denver Post detailed accusations against White by former parishioners from such diverse Colorado parishes as Minturn, Sterling and Colorado Springs. One man, Brandon Trask (he grew up under the name of Jesse Gonzales but changed it a few years ago) said that while he was a boy in Minturn, White lived across the street. One day, he said, White invited Trask to go to the hot springs pool in Glenwood Springs. According to Trask, he expected it to be a group outing but it turned out to be “just the two of us.”At the pool, while the two were in the water, Trask told a reporter, White allegedly reached into his swimming trunks and fondled him. When Trask struggled to get away, according to the story, White allegedly held him close. White, who left the priesthood in 2004, did not have a listed telephone number and could not be reached for comment. He also was accused of sexually abusing two other men who filed lawsuits against the archdiocese last week.Each suit seeks more than $10 million from the archdiocese for what the men claim was a deliberate cover-up by church officials.A review by The Associated Press of known sexual abuse settlements found that the church has paid out more than $1 billion because in the United States since 1950. The figure, compiled in June and expected to rise because of hundreds of unsettled cases, includes settlement packages, legal fees, counseling and other expenses.Vail, Colorado
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