Lawsuit Filed against Priest in Navajo Nation Court

November 6, 2007

NAVAJO NATION, N.M. — A lawsuit has been filed in Navajo Nation District Court, reporting sexual abuse at the hands of a former Catholic priest.

Attorneys and members of a sexual abuse support group filed a civil lawsuit against the Diocese of Gallup, along with a former priest, alleging sexual abuse at the hands of that ex-priest.

Navajo officials claim it's the first time an abuse lawsuit

has been filed in a Native American court.

The suit claims the alleged abuse took place between 1984 and 1985 in the rectory of Christ the King Church in Shiprock, N.M.

The victim, who was 14 years old at the time, claims the ex-priest gave him whiskey to get him drunk and then sexually abused him.

As of Tuesday afternoon, no criminal charges had been filed against the ex-priest who also served as a priest in Galveston, Texas and then Lafayette, Indiana.

The diocese tell Action 7 News they were not aware of the lawsuit.

The former priest in question now lives in indiana and works as a social worker.

He said that he was not aware of the lawsuit and declined to comment.


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