5th Lawsuit Filed Alleging Sex Abuse by Same Priest
By Jay Weaver firstname.lastname@example.org
The 33-year-old accuser, identified as John Doe, claimed church leaders knew the Rev. Ernesto Garcia-Rubio had a history of sexual misconduct and should not have hired him.
The Miami-Dade Circuit Court suit included confidential church documents that showed the late Archbishop
Coleman F. Carroll had been advised years earlier that Garcia-Rubio had been "forced to leave Cuba because of serious difficulties of a moral nature (homosexuality)."
However, the 1968 letter from the Vatican's apostolic delegate to the United States did not detail Garcia-Rubio's problems in Cuba or suggest they were related to pedophilia.
The archdiocese did its own background check, found no evidence of wrongdoing and made Garcia-Rubio the spiritual director of Immaculata-LaSalle High School in Coconut Grove in 1970.
Five years later, Garcia-Rubio was assigned to Our Lady of Divine Providence in Sweetwater, where he later became pastor.
In the suit, the plaintiff claimed Garcia-Rubio raped him in 1984, when he was a 13-year-old refugee seeking the priest's help in applying for asylum.
Since the national clergy sex-abuse scandal broke in 2002, Garcia-Rubio, 67, has been implicated in four other negligence suits against the archdiocese.
So far, two of the lawsuits have been settled out of court for $75,000 each.
"He has no business being a priest," said attorney Jeffrey Herman, who has filed all but one of the cases against the archdiocese involving Garcia-Rubio. "He belongs in jail."
In 1988, Garcia-Rubio was removed as pastor amid claims he sexually abused several Latin American refugee boys.
In 1994, the Vatican defrocked him.
Garcia-Rubio has been living in Costa Rica since late 2001, according to people familiar with his whereabouts.
In a statement released Thursday, the archdiocese said Garcia-Rubio has not been associated with the local Catholic Church for 15 years and declined to comment on the new suit's allegations.
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