Archdiocese Named in Sex-abuse Lawsuit
By Kim Vallez
April 2, 2013
ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - A New Mexico man has filed a lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Santa Fe alleging he was sexually abused by a priest when he was an altar boy at St. Anthony's Catholic Church in Questa.
In the lawsuit the man identified only as John Doe names Father Michael O'Brien as the man alleged to have abused him.
He claims Father Mike started with hugs, soon was massaging the boy and then moved on to rape.
The man claims the incidents happened over a two-year period when he was about 10 or 11 years old, but he didn't reveal the alleged incidents until 2012.
Attorney Brad Hall, who is representing the man, says he went to the archdiocese first for help. They offered him counseling with the condition that he could not contact any attorneys or file a lawsuit.
When the man did contact an attorney he says the counseling was immediately stopped.
The lawsuit is also being handled by attorney Kelly Clark of Oregon, known for his successes in sexual-abuse lawsuits against the Catholic Church in other states and the Boy Scouts of America.
The Archdiocese of Santa Fe did release a statement Tuesday in response to the lawsuit.
"This alleged incident occurred 30 years ago," the statement says. "The archdiocese has had a zero-tolerance policy in place for over 20 years. The archdiocese is unable to comment on pending litigation."