Lawsuit says Dallas diocese did not protect young girl from priest’s abuse

Dallas Morning News

January 31, 2020

After former Dallas priest was arrested this week on a charge of child molestation, another victim’s family filed a civil lawsuit against him and the Dallas Catholic Diocese

By David Tarrant

Richard Thomas Brown, who in the 1980s was assigned as an assistant pastor at Holy Family of Nazareth in Irving, repeatedly sexually assaulted an 8-year-old girl from the parish, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday.

One day, Brown took the girl out of Sunday school class and molested her in the rectory – the priest’s residence, where most of the assaults took place, according to the lawsuit.

The victim is being identified by a pseudonym, Jane Doe, in the civil lawsuit brought on her behalf by her aunt. Filed in Dallas County, the lawsuit names Brown and the Dallas Catholic Diocese as defendants.

Tahira Khan Merritt, a Dallas attorney who represents the plaintiff, said in a statement that her client’s “childhood and adulthood were devastated by the sexual abuse she suffered at Father Brown’s hands when she was a little girl.”

The woman, who is now in her mid-40s, “has been unable to develop and mature into a functioning adult who can provide even basic needs for herself,” Merritt said. “She will need care for the rest of her life.”

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