|Lawsuit against Diocese of Pueblo Names Fr. Daniel Maio As a Sexual Abuser for the First Time Publicly
Mermelstein & Horowitz
March 18, 2010
CHILD SEX ABUSE LAWSUIT FILED AGAINST DIOCESE OF PUEBLO
SUIT ACCUSES PRIEST PUBLICLY FOR THE FIRST TIME
PREDATOR PRIEST SERVED AS DIOCESAN YOUTH DIRECTOR
A new lawsuit alleging child sexual abuse has been filed against the Diocese of Pueblo. The Plaintiff, John Yengich, alleges that he was sexually abused from approximately 1968-1969 by Father Daniel Maio, while Maio worked as the Youth Director for the Diocese. This is believed to be the first time that Maio has been named publicly as a sexual abuser.
Yengich v. Bishop of Pueblo (Case No. 2010CV452) alleges that when Yengich was 15 years old, he sought counseling with Fr. Maio for issues related to his sexual identity. During this counseling, Maio “groomed” Yengich and ultimately began sexually abusing the boy. The abuse mainly occurred in Maio’s private living quarters, then located at St. Patrick’s parish in Pueblo. On at least one occasion, Yengich says he was also sexually abused at a mountain cabin owned by then-Bishop Charles Buswell.
The lawsuit also alleges that over the course of 18 months, Maio regularly plied Yengich and other young boys with alcohol and marijuana, and encouraged them to play strip poker. All of this occurred in Maio’s private quarters at St. Patrick’s.
Maio served as the Diocese of Pueblo’s Youth Director. In that position, he supervised another pedophile priest, Fr. Andrew Burke, after Diocesan officials received complaints about Burke’s “psychosexual problems.” Burke killed himself in 2005 after the Diocese received an allegation that he sexually abused a child.
Maio eventually left ministry and remained in the Colorado Springs area. He died in 2006. His obituaries conspicuously omitted the fact that he had been a priest.
Yengich’s attorney, Adam Horowitz, of the Miami firm Mermelstein & Horowitz, said, “I want to commend John for having the courage to come forward. Father Maio is being publicly accused of sexual abuse for the first time in this lawsuit. We allege that the Diocese knew of Father Maio’s propensity to sexually abuse kids for many years. There are still priests who have yet to be exposed as pedophiles and diocesan secrets yet to be uncovered.”
Yengich is now 57 and resides in Northern California.
A copy of the lawsuit is available by contacting Adam Horowitz at (305) 931-2200.
Adam Horowitz, (305) 931-2200
Jessica Arbour, (305) 931-2200
Any original material on these pages is copyright © BishopAccountability.org 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.