|Big Isle Man Sues Catholic Church
By Kevin Dayton
March 11, 2008
HILO, Hawai'i — A Big Island man who claims he was molested and sexually assaulted by a Catholic priest nearly two decades ago is suing the Roman Catholic Church and the priest.
The suit filed by an unidentified Big Island resident using the pseudonym "John Doe" in Hilo Circuit Court on Friday alleges Doe met priest Eugene Blazek as a boy sometime between 1979 to 1982 and that Blazek "engaged in a series (of) unwanted and unlawful sexual advances" directed at the boy over the course of more than a year.
Those advances allegedly included "having plaintiff become intoxicated and then sexually assaulting plaintiff," according to the suit.
"At all times relevant, (the church) knew or should have known Defendant Blazek was a sexual predator who was assaulting youngsters," including the unnamed plaintiff, according to the suit.
The victim in the alleged assault suppressed the memories and did not recall what had happened until he was an adult and visited the rectory of the church in January or February 2007, according to the suit.
While in the rectory, the adult Doe "began to experience a series of flashbacks involving sexual abuse" by Blazek, according to the suit.
The church involved was Our Lady of Lourdes in Honoka'a, said lawyer David Gierlach, who is representing "Doe." Gierlach said Doe was a member of the church but declined to give any other specifics.
Patrick Downes, spokesman for the Catholic Diocese of Honolulu, said Blazek is still listed in the directory of priests with the diocese. According to the lawsuit, Blazek is now a military chaplain living in North Carolina.
Blazek and the Rev. Mark Alexander, vicar general of the Honolulu Diocese, were unavailable for comment on the lawsuit yesterday.
Reach Kevin Dayton at firstname.lastname@example.org
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