Parents of Boy Allegedly Molested by Priest Sue Diocese for $110 Million

Los Angeles Times
December 14, 1986

The parents of a 13-year-old Catholic school student allegedly molested by a priest have filed suit against the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles, claiming that church and school officials repeatedly ignored the boy's pleas for help.

Manuel and Yolanda Hernandez said their son complained twice to his teacher and once to his principal about the molestations, but both failed to notify authorities and allowed Father John Salazar to continue teaching and conducting Mass at Santa Teresita Church in East Los Angeles, according to the suit.

Yolanda Hernandez said church officials told her the alleged incidents were "her son's fault," but promised that Salazar would receive counseling from the church.

The couple said it was not until Salazar molested another student that he was forced by church officials to turn himself in to law enforcement authorities.

Since then, family members said they have been "consistently shunned, derided and criticized" by other church members and employees and have been forced to join a new church. The suit, filed Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court, seeks $110 million in punitive damages.

Dist. Atty. spokesman Andy Reynolds said Salazar is scheduled for trial Dec. 31 on molestation charges.


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