Man Sues Pueblo Catholic Diocese for Alleged Abuse

Mercury News
March 18, 2010

DENVER—A man is suing the Roman Catholic diocese of Pueblo over a former priest who he says sexually abused him more than 40 years ago.

John Yengich says Daniel Maio sexually abused him from 1968 to 1969 while Maio was the youth director for the diocese. The lawsuit filed late Wednesday in Pueblo County District Court says the diocese knew Maio was abusing children.

Yengich, now 57, also alleges that Maio invited him and other young boys to drink alcohol, smoke marijuana and play strip poker with him in his private living quarters at St. Patrick's parish.

Maio later left ministry and died in 2006. Yengich now lives in northern California.

A call Thursday to the Pueblo diocese was not immediately returned.

The diocese has been the subject of other abuse lawsuits.

In 2009, two men sued the Pueblo diocese over another former priest accused of sexual abuse. They claimed William Groves abused them in the 1980s at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Walsenburg and St. Ignatius Church in Ignacio.

Groves pleaded guilty to a felony charge of sexual assault on a child stemming from a September 1989 incident with a 14-year-old boy. Groves left the priesthood after his conviction.

In 2008, the Pueblo diocese reached a $4.2 million settlement with 23 former Roncalli High School students who accused former Marianist Brother William Mueller of molesting them. Some of the plaintiffs said Mueller used ether to sedate them.

The diocese settled another lawsuit in 2009 after two men said Andrew Burke abused them during the 1970s. Burke left the priesthood in 1973 and committed suicide in September 2005.


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