September 25, 2018
By Emily Goodell
Editor’s note: This story contains details that might be upsetting to some readers.
A lawsuit accuses two former Toppenish priests of sexually abusing a child over nearly a decade in the 1950s and 1960s.
The lawsuit, filed against the Catholic Diocese of Yakima and St. Aloysius Catholic Church in Toppenish, alleges that two priests sexually, physically and emotionally abused a woman identified as L.L. for much of her childhood.
L.L. was 5 years old when a priest at the church — who was not identified by the woman’s attorneys — began to sexually abuse her, according to the lawsuit filed Monday in Yakima County Superior Court.
“The priest gave (her) chewing gum and candy in order to gain her trust before sexually abusing (her),” the lawsuit says. “The perpetrator, the unidentified parish priest, would take (her) to his private office where he would then proceed to touch (her) bare legs, caress her body and rub his fingers on (her) vagina.”
The lawsuit alleges that on multiple occasions, the priest performed oral sex on L.L. while masturbating beneath his robes. The frequency of the sexual abuse intensified when she entered the third grade and ended in 1959 or 1960, when the priest left the parish, according to the lawsuit.
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