Molestation Suit Filed against Priest

By Marianne Love
Pasadena Star-News
December 2, 2004

www.pasadena Stories/0,1413, 206~22097~257 3205,00.html

COVINA - A civil complaint has been filed against a former Covina priest -- who served at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Monrovia in 1971 and 1972 and at St. Luke the Evangelist in Temple City from 1988 through 2001 -- alleging he molested a minor when he first began his career at St. Louise de Marillac Catholic Church 37 years ago.

The Rev. Thomas F. King, now pastor of St. Anastasia Catholic Church in Los Angeles, allegedly tied the boy's legs together with tape, then sodomized and masturbated him.

The complaint also alleges King beat the boy's genitals with a stick and told the victim it was necessary to beat the homosexuality out of him to save the boy's dying father.

The alleged three to six months of abuse took place when the victim, now about 48, was 11 years old. King did not return calls seeking comment.

However, Monsignor Craig A. Cox, vicar for clergy of the Los Angeles Archdiocese, addressed the allegations against King last month at St. Anastasia and said no one else has ever lodged a complaint of sexual misconduct against the pastor.

"Father King has firmly maintained that he has never engaged in sexually abusive activities with the plaintiff or with anyone else," Cox said.

Cox said the allegations have been turned over to the Clergy Misconduct Oversight Board, which consists of 13 members, 11 of whom are lay people, and that a retired special agent with the FBI continues to investigate.

Numerous sexual misconduct lawsuits involving priests and minors have been filed against the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles since late 2003.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Haley J. Fromholz ordered lawyers on Wednesday to select cases that could go to trial while urging settlement of hundreds of civil cases stemming from alleged clergy abuse.

Fromholz told attorneys for the victims and the church to select a set of cases that reflect the other lawsuits and return to court on Jan. 7.

The complaint against King, filed Nov. 22 in Los Angeles County Superior Court, outlines 18 allegations against King, the Archdiocese and the Rev. James J. Walsh, who was pastor at the time.

The plaintiff seeks a jury trial and unspecified damages.

The victim, represented by the San Diego-based law firm of Zalkin and Zimmer LLP, attended the parish school from fourth to eighth grades.

He alleges he was sent to King to be disciplined and the priest took him to the back of the church once a week from about 1967 through about 1968.

This is not the first lawsuit filed against priests at St. Louise.

Father Ted Llannos committed suicide after criminal child molestation charges were filed against him in the 1990s.

Members of the nationwide Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests protested against King at St. Louise after Sunday Mass on Nov. 28 by distributing information about his career.

The group claims King was assigned to parishes where at least six other priests who have been criminally convicted or are known or suspected molesters also worked or are currently working.

- Marianne Love can be reached at (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2108, or by e-mail at© .


Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.