|| TH Man Becomes
Latest Plaintiff in Suits against the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, Former
By Stephanie Salter
June 13, 2006
A Terre Haute man identified only as "John Doe WC" has become
the 10th plaintiff in a growing collection of sex abuse lawsuits against
the Archdiocese of Indianapolis and the former Rev. Harry E. Monroe.
The most recent suit, filed Tuesday in Vigo County Circuit Court by Minnesota
attorney Patrick Noaker, alleges the 40-year-old man was one of at least
six Terre Haute men who were sexually abused as minors when Monroe was assigned
to St. Patrick parish from 1979 to 1981.
St. Patrick's Church also is named as a defendant in the suit.
| A new case: Attorney
Patrick Noaker (center) discusses the filing of a lawsuit against
the former Rev. Harry Monroe on Tuesday outside of the Vigo County
Courthouse. Standing with Noaker are Missi Limcaco and the Rev. Gary
Hayes of Owensboro, Ky.
Photo by The Tribune-Star/Joseph
The other nine cases, which Noaker's firm filed in Marion County, involve
men who were minors in Indianapolis area parishes where Monroe served
as a priest before being transferred to Terre Haute.
After the St. Patrick's post, Monroe was transferred to the Tell City
area in southern Indiana as a priest for several small parishes. According
to the archdiocese, Monroe was removed permanently from the priesthood
|Never forget: Missi Limcaco
wears a photo of her late son, Danny, during a news conference Tuesday
in front of the Vigo County Courthouse. Limcaco's son, Daniel, told
his parents in 1981 that he had been abused by the Rev. Harry E. Monroe
on at least two outings—one to Indianapolis, another to Turkey
Run State Park—while Monroe was a priest and youth minister
at St. Patrick's. Tribune-Star / Joseph C. Garza.
He has worked the past several years as a counselor in a health center
in Nashville, Tenn., Noaker said.
The attorney was joined in the filing and at a news conference afterward
by Melissa Limcaco of Terre Haute and the Rev. Gary Hayes, who said he
is a Roman Catholic priest in the diocese of Owensboro, Ky. Hayes said
he is also "a survivor of sexual abuse" as a child by two priests.
Limcaco's son, Daniel, told his parents in 1981 that he had been abused
by Monroe on at least two outings — one to Indianapolis, another
to Turkey Run State Park — while Monroe was a priest and youth minister
at St. Patrick's.
Limcaco said Daniel was one of several St. Pat's adolescents who sent
letters, as advised by the archdiocese, to then-Archbishop Edward T. O'Meara,
detailing the alleged abuse. Her pastor at the time, the Rev. Joseph Wade,
talked her out of going to the police to report the allegations, she said.
Daniel died in 1983 from carbon monoxide poisoning, probably the result
In November, Limcaco and her husband, Oscar, spoke publicly about Daniel's
death and Monroe in a lengthy interview with the Tribune-Star. That action,
said Noaker, prompted "John Doe WC" to confide the alleged molestation
to his wife and others and to contact the attorney.
The Limcacos are not plaintiffs in the suits.
"I'm here primarily to let the victim know our family is supporting
him," Limcaco said at the news conference.
Among eight causes of action listed in the Vigo County suit are childhood
sexual abuse, negligence and two types of fraud.
|Filed: Vigo County deputy
clerk Annette Lindeman helps attorney Patrick Noaker file a new civil
case Tuesday in the clerk's office. Tribune-Star / Joseph C. Garza.
As "a corporation authorized to conduct business … in the state
of Indiana," the suit states, archdiocesan officials knew from previous
complaints in Indianapolis that Monroe had a history of sexual abuse but
misrepresented that status "with the intent to deceive" the
John Doe WC, the suit contends, "has suffered, and continues to suffer
great pain of mind and body, shock, emotional distress … disgrace, humiliation,
and loss of enjoyment of life …"
|Support: Missi Limcaco
pledges her support for a victim that has come forward to file a lawsuit
against Rev. Harry Monroe during a news conference Tuesday at the
Vigo County Courthouse. The photo Limcaco is wearing is of her late
son, Danny. Tribune-Star / Joseph C. Garza.
Noaker said the Terre Haute man was 14 and an altar boy at the time
of the alleged crime. The molestations, he said, took place in the rectory
at St. Patrick's as well as on outings. The attorney said his client also
alleges that Monroe plied the then-adolescent with alcohol and marijuana,
explaining that parents were "grateful" to have their children
exposed to such substances under the safe, watchful guidance of a priest.
Greg Otolski, executive director for communications at the archdiocese,
said in a telephone interview the office could not comment "on any
Otolski said, however, that Archbishop Daniel Buechlein previously has
urged parishioners in letters, church bulletin inserts and archdiocesan
publications to report any knowledge of abuse — by Monroe or any
other priest or church employee — to the archdiocese and to "the
appropriate law enforcement agencies."
"They keep saying we haven't done all these things, and that's not
so," Otolski said, referring to critics of the archdiocese and its
response to the Monroe case.
At the news conference, Noaker said the lack of reporting to civil authorities
by archdiocesan officials was part of why there are now 10 suits against
them and Monroe.
"If you wanted to do a background check today on Father Harry Monroe,
he would pass. He isn't listed," Noaker said.
Stephanie Salter can be reached at (812) 231-4229 or firstname.lastname@example.org.