Online Update: Las Cruces Diocese, St. Genevieve's Named in Abuse Lawsuit

By Jose L. Medina
Las Cruces Sun-News [New Mexico]
March 1, 2007

A former altar boy is suing the Las Cruces and El Paso Catholic dioceses and St. Genevieve's Parish, alleging that a priest sexually abused him as a teenager 30 years ago.

The lawsuit was filed Feb. 22 in state district court in Santa Fe but does not identify the alleged victim, referred to in court documents only as John Doe I.

John Doe I and his parents, identified as John Doe II and Jane Doe I, filed and settled a similar suit in U.S. District Court that named the El Paso Diocese and Father Manuel Perez Maramba as defendants, according to court records.

The federal suit was settled in January but the terms were not specified.

The latest lawsuit again names Perez and the El Paso Diocese as defendants and adds the Las Cruces Diocese and St. Genevieve s. It does not specify damages sought.

St. Genevieve's, where Perez ministered, was part of the El Paso Diocese until 1983 when the Las Cruces Diocese was created.

The alleged incidents of abuse occurred in the late 1970s, according to court documents.

Perez now lives in the Philippines. John Doe I now lives in Colorado while his parents still live in Doņa Ana County, according to the documents.

Attempts to reach T.O. Gilstrap Jr., John Doe I's El Paso-based attorney, and Francis Ainsa, also of El Paso, who is the attorney for the Las Cruces diocese, were unsuccessful.

The lawsuit alleges that John Doe I was abused on four different occasions in 1976 and 1977.

The suit states that John Doe I's parents encouraged their son to spend time with Perez because they wanted him to become a priest.

When John Doe's parents learned of Perez's alleged conduct, they informed the diocese officials who took no action, the documents state.

Jose Medina can be reached at


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