Another sex abuse lawsuit for Denver archdiocese
Vail, CO Colorado
DENVER , Colorado ” The Archdiocese of Denver was hit with another lawsuit alleging sexual abuse by a former priest on Tuesday, two weeks after settling with 18 people who claimed they were molested.
The lawsuit identifies the alleged victim only as “John Doe 2A” and claims he was abused by the late Harold White, the same ex-priest who was named in the bulk of the cases that were settled this month.
The lawsuit claims the abuse occurred in 1969 or 1970 at St. John the Evangelist Church in Loveland when the plaintiff was 14. White was removed from ministry in 1993 and died of a heart attack in 2006.
The suit seeks unspecified damages and attorney fees.
Michael Finnegan, a lawyer with the Minneapolis firm representing the man, said the man decided to file suit after seeing church documents about White that were released to the plaintiffs part of the settlements.
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According to the suit, the documents ” posted on the firm’s Web site ” show White had admitted in February 1961 to sexually molesting five or six children. That was seven years before he was moved to St. John’s.
“He was outraged and saddened to see the archdiocese, to see the bishops and priests that he trusted, would cover up and conceal this for so long,” Finnegan said.
Archdiocese spokeswoman Jeanette De Melo said church officials haven’t received a copy of the lawsuit. She said the archdiocese is willing to meet with anyone who claims abuse by clergy and offer help in healing.
She said the documents were released to help the plaintiffs find healing and resolution. She declined to comment on their use as grounds for another lawsuit.
Finnegan’s firm, Jeff Anderson and Associates, also represented 14 of the plaintiffs in the recently settled cases. All but two of them made allegations against White.
Before his death, White said previous allegations against him contained “half truths.”
The archdiocese has settled 43 sex abuse cases since 2005 for a total of $8.2 million.
Two other suits besides the new one remain unresolved.