Alamogordo Daily News [Alamogordo NM]
March 4, 2022
By Nicole Maxwell
The civil tort case referencing alleged abuse by the late Fr. David Holley against a John Doe while Holley was in Alamogordo in the 1970s will now be heard in February 2023.
The case was originally set to begin in July 2022.
According to court filings, more time was needed for discovery between the parties. Discovery, in the legal senses, means to exchange legal information and facts of the case between opposing attorneys so that all sides can know the facts of a case.
Mediation was ordered to be completed by mid-February but has not been completed, according to plaintiff’s attorney Paul Linnenburger.
“A mediation has not yet occurred. Due to the pandemic easing and courts reopening to a large degree, mediators’ calendars are extremely tight,” Linnenburger said.
In March 2020, Doe filed suit against defendants Servants of the Paraclete, the Dioceses of Las Cruces, El Paso and Worcester, Massachusetts and Alamogordo parishes Immaculate Conception Parish and St. Jude Parish.
The suit alleges negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress, vicarious liability, public nuisance and racketeering by the defendants in the case.
All named defendants have denied wrongdoing and have asked for the case’s dismissal.
There have been four motions for summary judgement regarding the charge of vicarious liability by the plaintiff alone.
“There was somewhat of a loose deadline to get things like motions for summary judgement on file,” Linnenburger said. “Obviously now that has been extended. At the time, we were all operating under the old scheduling order and so there was a flurry of summary judgement motions in January.”
Linnenburger filed four motions for summary judgement in late January with more to come, he said.
The Servants of the Paraclete and the Catholic Dioceses of El Paso and Worcester have also filed motions for summary judgement, according to court records.
The motions for summary judgement are all in reference to the charge of vicarious liability. Vicarious liability means that a party is held partially responsible for unlawful actions of another. In this case, the defendants are charged with partial responsibility for Holley’s actions when he was in Alamogordo.
Linnenburger sued the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office for access to 35,000 pages of documents which had information that was publicly recorded as public documents, Linnenburger said.
The documents were provided to Linnenburger following the filing and media reports.
“We remain committed to justice for this survivor and all survivors of priest sexual abuse, and this case continues to move forward,” Linnenburger said.
According to court records, Doe’s abuse began in the 1970s where Holley was in Alamogordo.
The home in which Holley lived was located across the street from a school in Alamogordo. The house was owned by the Diocese of El Paso and the St. Jude and Immaculate Conception parishes. At the time, St. Jude Catholic Church was a mission parish under Immaculate Conception Catholic Church.
According to the court records, Holley and another priest, Fr. Wilfred Diamond, who also lived in house, showed the plaintiff and other boys pornography before what the complaint terms as “sexual crimes,” were committed.
Other allegations are that Holley took pornographic photos of boys and sexually assaulted them weekly for about three years. The complaint does not indicate the number of victims beyond “John Doe.”
Holley was not assigned to either of the two Catholic parishes in Alamogordo. Holley was convicted of child sexual penetration in a 12th Judicial District Court in 1993 and died in 2008. Holley was sentenced to up to 275 years in prison in that case.
Diamond died in 1995.
Nicole Maxwell can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, by phone at 575-415-6605 or on Twitter at @nicmaxreporter.