Suit: Oregon Church at Fault for Underwear-clad Priest Who Chased Boy Fleeing Molestation
By Travis Gettys
April 24, 2014
A lawsuit claims church officials were sufficiently aware of sexual abuse by clergymen to have prevented an Oregon priest from molesting a boy and chasing him down the street in his underwear.
Father Angel Armando Perez pleaded guilty April 1, 2013 to drunken driving, providing alcohol to the boy, and sexually abusing him the year before.
The priest was sentenced to six years as part of his plea agreement.
A lawsuit filed by the victim’s guardian claims the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Portland and Saint Luke Catholic Church of Woodburn, Ore., were negligent and contributed to the sexual battery of a child.
“By the 1950s, and certainly by 2005 (after it had filed bankruptcy), the Archdiocese of Portland was aware of a systemic danger of child molestation by its priests,” the suit claims.
The suit claims Perez groomed the boy when he was 11 and 12 years old, got him drunk, and molested him.
“Through the grooming that was within the course and scope of his employment and agency, and using the authority and position of trust as a priest for defendants, engaged in various sexual activities with plaintiff,” the suit claims.
The complaint states that the boy awoke August 13, 2012, to find the half-nude priest fondling his genitals and taking nude photos of him with a cell phone.
The boy quickly dressed himself and fled, according to the complaint, and the underwear-clad Perez chased the boy down the street, screaming at him to stop.
The “terrified” child sought help from a neighborhood family, the suit claims.
The priest is not named in the suit, which seeks $8.5 million in damages for the victim.
Perez was the third Oregon priest to be convicted of criminal sexual abuse charges.