Ex-Pastor Now Prison Psychologist
Man Was Defendant in Sex Abuse Lawsuits

By Bruce Daniels
Albuquerque Journal
February 28, 1995

The Rev. Sabine Griego, the former pastor at Queen of Heaven Parish who was suspended as a priest because of sexual-misconduct allegations, is working as a full-time psychologist at the medium-security men's prison in Grants.

Griego went to work Jan. 9 as one of eight staff psychologists at the Western New Mexico Correctional Facility, Corrections Department spokesman Lou Armijo said Monday.

To be hired, Armijo said, Griego had to pass an FBI background check.

"Everything checked out; there was nothing negative," Armijo said.

Griego, who has been named as a defendant in several sexual abuse lawsuits, has never been charged criminally.

The first of at least five lawsuits against Griego was filed in December 1993, in which the plaintiff alleged Griego, then pastor of Queen of Heaven in Albuquerque, began sexually abusing him when he was 9 or 10 years old, continuing the abuse for another five years.

Another lawsuit, filed last May, alleged Griego got the plaintiff drunk and abused him in 1984, when the plaintiff was a "rebellious teen-ager" and that the abuse continued until 1991, when he was a college student.

According to the first lawsuit, Griego was first accused of molesting children when he was pastor of Our Lady of Sorrows Church in Las Vegas, N.M.

He was then transferred to Queen of Heaven where he continued to molest boys, the suit alleged, and was sent in 1991 to a Canadian rehabilitation program.

Then, according to the lawsuit, after completing the treatment program in 1992 he moved in with then-Archbishop Robert F. Sanchez.

Griego served for a time as a chaplain at St. Joseph Hospital and by late 1993 was a psychology student at the University of New Mexico, specializing in family counseling and medical ethics.

Church officials have said Griego was suspended as a priest in late 1992 pending an internal investigation by the Archdiocese of Santa Fe.

The Rev. Richard Olona, chancellor of the archdiocese, said Monday that Griego's suspension is still in effect.


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