Phoenix Bishop Thomas O’Brien accused of sexual abuse

12 News

William Pitts, KPNX August 04, 2017

PHOENIX – A Tucson man alleges Bishop Emeritus Thomas J. O’Brien sexually abused him more than 35 years ago.

O’Brien has already admitted to helping cover up suspected pedophile priest, but this is the first lawsuit to allege O’Brien was personally responsible for abuse. O’Brien stepped down as bishop in 2003.

The lawsuit, filed by a Tucson man going only by “Joseph W.”, alleges O’Brien molested him between 1977 and 1982, when the boy was in second to fifth grades. The lawsuit was filed in September of 2016.

“The abuse often took place before or during church services attended by Joseph W. and his family,” the lawsuit claims, “and under the guise of Bishop O’Brien showing Joseph W. how to assist with some aspect of the ceremony.”

The lawsuit alleges the abuse happened at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic School and St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School.4, 2017

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