Wrongful-death Lawsuit against Orange, L.A. Dioceses Alleges Man Killed Himself over Molestation by Priest
By Sean Emery
Orange County Register
March 16, 2017
|A widow has filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against the Orange and Los Angeles dioceses, alleging that her husband killed himself in 2015 because of depression over having been molested by a priest years before while attending St. Joseph Catholic Church in Placentia. (File photo by Orange County Register)|
widow has filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against the Orange and Los Angeles dioceses, alleging that her husband killed himself in 2015 because of depression over having been molested by a “notorious pedophile” priest years before while attending St. Joseph Catholic Church in Placentia.
Attorneys for the wife filed the lawsuit this week in Los Angeles Superior Court, alleging that her husband was haunted by the abuse he allegedly suffered at the hands of the Rev. Eleuterio Ramos from 1975 through 1978.
“The horror and betrayal associated with years of sexual abuse drove (him) into severe depression, he became suicidal,” attorney Raymond Boucher wrote in the complaint. “Though he fought valiantly for years to overcome the sense of betrayal and mistrust, he ultimately succumbed to the depression and sense of worthlessness.”
Officials with the Los Angeles Diocese said they have not received a copy of the lawsuit and could not comment. The Diocese of Orange acknowledges in a statement that it has settled several cases "related to the abhorrent conduct of Ramos. ...
“The Diocese of Orange continues to work to promote healing and reconciliation with past victims and their families and remains vigilant in ensuring the events of the past (are) not repeated," it says.
Court records have painted Ramos as one of Orange County’s most notorious predators. Church documents released in 2005 as part of a $100 million settlement between the Orange Diocese and 90 alleged molestation victims said that Ramos had admitted to molesting at least two dozen boys.
Ramos was moved to St. Joseph Church in 1975 after undergoing psychological treatment. Over the ensuing years he was accused of molesting numerous other boys, and was moved to the Diocese of Tijuana in 1985. He died in 2004.
The latest lawsuit alleges that when he was moved to Orange County, diocese leaders knew that Ramos had already admitted to molesting boys, yet allowed him to be around minors unattended.
The boy was 10 years old when he met Ramos, and his father had just suffered a major heart attack, leading Ramos to “set his sights” on the boy’s “youthful vulnerability,” the lawsuit alleges.
The lawsuit seeks damages on behalf of the wife and four children, as well as funeral and burial expenses.