Family sues church for $8.5M in sex abuse case

Portland Tribune

Wednesday, 30 April 2014 01:00 | Written by Tyler Francke

An $8.5 million lawsuit has been filed in Multnomah County Circuit Court against the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Portland, along with St. Luke Catholic Church in Woodburn, in connection with a 2012 sex abuse case involving a popular local priest.

Angel Armando Perez, 48, was a priest at St. Luke in August 2012, when he was charged with first-degree sex abuse (a Measure 11 offense), driving under the influence of intoxicants and two counts of furnishing alcohol to a minor. Under the terms of a plea agreement, Perez pleaded guilty in April 2013 and was assessed the mandatory minimum sentence for the sex abuse charge — six years, three months — which he is currently serving.

His victim was a Salem boy, 12 at the time, who is identified in court documents only as “J.T.” The initial complaint in the lawsuit, filed April 23 by the Barton Law Firm in Newport, describes the plaintiff and his family as “particularly devout, attending church regularly.” It also notes that, as immigrants, the church played a particularly important role in the family members’ lives.

The complaint claims that Perez, in the course of his ministerial duties as a priest, befriended the victim and established himself as a spiritual guide and trustworthy mentor.

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