|Pueblo Man Sues Church in 1971 Abuse
The Denver Post
October 21, 2009
A 56-year-old Pueblo man is suing the Catholic Diocese of Pueblo for negligence in not preventing or stopping sexual abuse allegedly committed against him in 1971 by two diocesan priests, now deceased.
In the lawsuit, filed Wednesday in Pueblo District Court, Tom Roldan alleges that Father Andrew Burke and Father John F. Martin sexually assaulted Roldan in the rectory basement on more than a dozen occasions over two years. Many assaults against Roldan, then a St. Pius X Parish janitor, occurred before his 18th birthday, the complaint alleges.
Burke, who left the priesthood in 1973 citing a "psychosexual behavior disorder," committed suicide in September 2005 at age 62 as allegations against him began to surface. Martin died in the late 1970s,said Roldan's attorney, Florida-based Adam Horowitz, but the date of his death could not be comfirmed.
Burke has been accused of sexual abuse by at least three other men. The diocese settled two of the cases. One suit, filed in September by "John Doe No. 7," is still pending.
Horowitz said that, to his knowledge, this is the first lawsuit naming Martin as a defendant.
Pueblo Diocese officials could not be reached for comment.
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