New lawsuit alleges clergy sex abuse by Las Cruces priest

The Associated Press

December 20, 2018

By Susan Montoya Bryan

Another lawsuit has been filed against the Catholic Church, alleging sexual abuse of a child by a now-deceased priest who once served at Our Lady of Health Parish in Las Cruces.

It’s the latest in a string of legal actions stemming from allegations of clergy sex abuse that span decades and have rocked parishes across the United States.

New Mexico’s largest diocese – the Archdiocese of Santa Fe – has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in recent months on lawyers to fight claims of abuse and to prepare for a potentially lengthy battle in U.S. Bankruptcy Court. In neighboring Texas, church officials are preparing next month to release the names of priests who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse of a child.

Attorneys for a victim identified only as Jane Doe N filed a lawsuit Monday, naming the parish and the Diocese of El Paso, Texas, which used to oversee parts of southern New Mexico before the Diocese of Las Cruces was created.

The lawsuit says the victim had been left in the care of the parish pastor, Father Joaquin Resma, and that she was raped on multiple occasions. The girl was about 10 at the time and the abuse was intermittent for about a year during the late 1970s, according to the lawsuit.

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