Diocese Faces New Sex Abuse Lawsuit

By Jeff Tucker
Pueblo Chieftain
April 7, 2010

A second civil lawsuit alleging child sexual abuse by the former director of youth services for the Catholic Diocese of Pueblo was filed in court Monday.

The suit claims Rev. Daniel Maio fondled and simulated intercourse with the victim, named John Doe No. 24, when he was 17 and a member of Maio's youth group.

The suit seeks damages in excess of $1 million.

The alleged victim claims Maio supplied him with drugs and alcohol while he and other boys in the youth group were at Maio's rectory apartment in St. Patrick's parish.

The suit claims the youth group was an "inner circle" of boys close to Maio who sang at church and went on camping trips. It suggests that Maio was grooming the boys for sexual encounters.

The suit also claims the victim has been sexually abused by an Irish priest in another parish before the Pueblo incidents.

The suit comes three weeks after the Doe's attorney, Adam Horowitz, filed a civil suit on behalf of former Puebloan John Yengich, who claims Maio subjected him to fondling, masturbation, oral sex and sodomy dozens of times between 1968 and 1969.

Yengich's suit was the first to name Maio, but because of Maio's role within the diocese, Horowitz said he expected more suits to come.

The Miami attorney continues to expect more allegations against Maio.

"When we filed the first lawsuit, it gave other victims the courage to come forward to seek vindication and healing," Horowitz said in a written statement. "I anticipate that we will be filing more lawsuits involving Father Maio and his work in the diocese of Pueblo. There are more victims of Father Maio who have not yet come forward and I hope that John Doe's courage will let them know it is safe to finally reveal the truth."

Monsignor Mark Plewka of the Pueblo diocese said Tuesday was the first he had heard of the second suit and that he had not receives a copy of the civil complaint.

Once the diocese receives a copy of the complaint, the church will conduct its own investigation.

Plewka's single comment Tuesday wasn't much different from Horowitz's.

"We would encourage all victims to come forward if they have complaints," Plewka said.

Maio left the priesthood in spring of 1974 and died in 2006 in Colorado Springs.



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