Valley Public Radio News (NPR affiliate)
January 31, 2020
By Laura Tsutsui
A new lawsuit has been filed in Fresno County Superior Court against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno and two of its churches for negligence and sexual battery. Although the plaintiff reported abuse in 2002 and the priest was acquitted, a law that took effect this year means she can still seek damages.
The plaintiff is now 34 years old, and referred to as Jane Doe, since the alleged abuse took place when she was a minor. She says that Father Miguel Flores raped and threatened her in 2001 at Immaculate Heart of Mary Roman Catholic Church in Hanford where she worked.
Immaculate Heart is one of the defendants named in the suit; St. Paul Roman Catholic Church in Tranquility, west of Fresno, is the second. The plaintiff was a parishioner at St. Paul’s.
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