Man Claims Three Priests Abused Him
By Lysee Mitri
May 9, 2013
ALAMOGORDO, N.M. (KRQE) - An Albuquerque man has filed a lawsuit accusing three priests of molesting him decades ago at an Alamogordo church.
He even says two of the priests worked together in raping him when he was about 9 years old.
Eran McManemy says the abuse went on for years with different priests when he was an altar boy at St. Jude Parish in Alamogordo.
One of the priests died in prison while doing time for raping numerous other boys.
It is a lengthy lawsuit filed more than 20 years after the alleged abuse.
In it, McManemy says father Wilfred Diamond sexually molested and physically abused him several times a week when he was an altar boy at St. Jude’s Catholic Parish in 1987.
Years later, he says Father Daniel Barfield did the same even holding him down while Rev. David Holley raped him.
Holley was a notorious New Mexico pedophile priest sentenced in 1999 to 55 to 275 years in prison for molesting eight other boys in Alamogordo.
“Of course, Eran didn't know what had happened was wrong or what it meant,” says his lawyer, Merit Bennett.
McManemy was 9 when the abuse started and didn't tell anyone for decades.
“The first time was in the last couple years when he disclosed it to his therapist,” Bennett says.
Barfield died in 2003, according to the church website. Holley died in prison in 2008.
McManemy’s lawyer believes Diamond has also died.
The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests supports McManemy.
“I have a great deal of respect for the courage it takes for a person who has had that experience to come forward,” says Mary Stanton.
She says she herself is a survivor, and she says speaking out about abuse within the church doesn't mean you are against your faith.
“There seems to be this thought that if you speak truthfully about the abuses that happened to you within the church that somehow you are speaking against the church,” Stanton says.
The Diocese of Las Cruces and the Archdiocese of Santa Fe are named in the lawsuit. KRQE News 13 contacted both seeking comment on the lawsuit.
“To the best of the Archdiocese’s knowledge Fathers Holley, Barfield and Diamond have not ever served in the Archdiocese in Santa Fe,” Chancellor John Cannon says.
The Diocese of Las Cruces has not responded.