Diocese, Priest Sued for Alleged 25-Year-Old Abuse
By Patrick Downes |
Hawaii Catholic Herald
April 4, 2008
An unnamed man has filed a lawsuit against the Diocese of Honolulu and one of its priests for sexual abuse that allegedly occurred more than 25 years ago at a Big Island parish.
The lawsuit was filed on March 7 by attorneys David J. Gierlach and Brian A. Duus on behalf of a "John Doe."
The complaint states that Father Eugene Blazek "engaged in a series of unwanted and unlawful sexual advances" against the plaintiff.
It further states that the plaintiff's memories about the incidents were "repressed and/or suppressed" and only became available to him in "January or February of 2007" in a "series of flashbacks."
According to the lawsuit, the diocese is also liable because the alleged misconduct took place "during the scope and course" of Father Blazek's "employment" as a priest of the diocese.
Father Blazek, 59, was ordained for the Honolulu diocese in 1976. He served as an associate pastor at four parishes on Oahu before being appointed pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes in Honokaa on Sept. 1, 1983.
He joined the U.S. Air Force as a chaplain in January 1986 and retired from military service on June 1, 2007. He now lives in Houston.
According to a statement from the Diocese of Honolulu dated March 20, "Father Eugene Blazek is under canonical precept while the diocese investigates the recent allegation. This means that he is not permitted to function publicly as a priest."
The diocese has a Review Board on sexual misconduct that investigates accusations of sexual abuse by its clergy, religious and lay employees.
"The Diocese of Honolulu declines to comment on the pending lawsuit regarding Father Blazek," the statement said.
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