Suspended Priest Sues, Claims He Was Defamed

Associated Press, carried in Gainesville Sun
October 13. 2006

Miami - A Roman Catholic priest suspended by the Archdiocese of Miami because of sexual abuse allegations sued one of his accusers Thursday and an attorney who defended the accuser, claiming they defamed him and were involved in a conspiracy.

The Rev. Alvaro Guichard has already filed several lawsuits as a result of the allegations. In January he sued Jeffrey Herman, an attorney who represented the accusers, for defamation.

Guichard also previously filed separate lawsuits against an accuser identified as "John Doe 17" and the mother and brother of another accuser, claiming defamation and conspiracy in each case.

On Thursday Guichard filed another lawsuit in Miami-Dade Circuit Court, this time against Herman and a man he said was previously identified as "John Doe 20" who accused the priest of abusing him in 1980.

The lawsuit seeks more than $15,000 in damages, claiming Guichard never abused Cruz and that both Cruz and Herman provided false statements to the media and the public. The lawsuit also alleges Cruz conspired with Herman to collect money from the archdiocese by incriminating Guichard, a charge similar to conspiracy charges Guichard had alleged in previous cases.

A message for Herman left after hours by The Associated Press was not immediately returned.

Guichard was put on paid administrative leave after the allegations surfaced.

He was named in a 2005 lawsuit alleging church abuse.


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