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  Second Man Charges Abuse in Suit against Priest

By Noaki Schwartz
Sun-Sentinel [Fort Lauderdale FL]
June 21, 2002

A second anonymous lawsuit was filed against Rev. Ernesto Garcia-Rubio, this time by a former Boy Scout claiming he was raped by the priest during the 1970s.

Referring to himself only as John Doe, the now 40-year-old man says in his suit that the Rev. Garcia-Rubio took an "interest" in the teen during a Boy Scout event at Our Lady of Divine Providence Church in Sweetwater. In his lawsuit, which also names the Miami Archdiocese, the South Florida resident claims Garcia-Rubio invited him to a seminar and then "sodomized and fondled" the then 13-year-old.

"This is a man who does not want to be in this situation," said John Doe's attorney Jeff Herman, explaining why his client chose anonymity. "His life was destroyed."

The 66-year-old priest could not be reached for comment. Officials with the archdiocese have not seen the lawsuit and would not comment.

The suit alleges that about 1976, Garcia-Rubio befriended the Cuban immigrant who was having trouble adjusting to his new life in America. The priest invited the teen to a seminar for troubled youth in Fort Lauderdale; however, "there were no other children and there was no seminar," documents say.

Garcia-Rubio checked the boy into a hotel room and raped him, the suit claims. Herman said the abuse continued for months, during which time the lawsuit claims the teen also saw the priest "abuse other boys at the church."

Though John Doe never reported the abuse, his attorney thinks the archdiocese should have protected the boy "based on what they knew about Rubio's behavior."

On May 29, another South Florida resident sued Garcia-Rubio claiming he was molested by the priest in 1984. Under the name Juan FR Doe, the now 35-year-old man said that the priest took him, an El Salvadoran refugee, off the streets and raped him. The boy was threatened with deportation when he reported the assault, the lawsuit said.

Attorneys representing both plaintiffs are having trouble locating Garcia-Rubio, who was thought to be living in southwest Miami. Herman thinks the priest may have left the country -- again.

In 1988 Garcia-Rubio left the country shortly after similar allegations surfaced. The Miami Dade State Attorney's Office investigated the priest following claims he abused Nicaraguan refugee boys sheltered in his rectory. In the end no one "would admit to being sexually abused," said the report, and the case was closed in 1990.

Garcia-Rubio took an extended leave of absence and eventually surfaced as a missionary in Honduras. By the early 1990s, Garcia-Rubio was working at a hotel in the Dominican Republic Noaki Schwartz can be reached at nschwartz@sun-sentinel.com or 305-810-5004.

 
 

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