2 Priest Sexual Abuse Suits Settled

By Jeff Tucker
Pueblo Chieftain
May 18, 2011

Two lawsuits filed against the Diocese of Pueblo alleging sexual abuse by a priest have been settled.

Attorney Adam Horowitz confirmed Tuesday that the suits were settled but declined to provide any details of the settlement.

"We're pleased with the settlement and happy with the result," he said.

Both suits involved the late Rev. Daniel Maio, who served as the Roman Catholic diocese's director of youth services and lived in the rectory apartments at St. Patrick church.

One suit was filed by former Puebloan John Yengich, who alleged that Maio subjected him to fondling, masturbation, oral sex and sodomy dozens of times between 1968 and 1969.

The second suit, filed by a John Doe No. 24, alleged Maio fondled him and simulated sex with him when he was 17 and a member of Maio's youth group.

The suits suggested that Maio's youth group was an "inner circle" of boys who sang at church and went on camping trips together.

The cases included sworn affidavits from at least two men who claimed they had knowledge of Maio's tendencies to abuse boys.

In one affidavit, former Puebloan Jim Cravens claims Maio admitted to him that he had intercourse with Yengich.

In another affidavit, Lonnie Hodge claimed he was sexually abused by Maio at 15 years old, after having been invited to live with Maio when the boy's father was injured in Vietnam.

Hodge claimed he lived with Maio from 1969-71 and also was given marijuana and other drugs.

Hodge is not a plaintiff in any case against the diocese presently, Horowitz said.

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

Rev. Mike Papish, the diocese spokesman, said the diocese was grateful for the patience of the two victims while the settlement was reached.

Details of the settlement were not released.

"As a diocese we are absolutely committed to restorative justice for these cases," Papish said. "We deeply, deeply lament, we are very sorry these cases occurred and we encourage if anyone has been sexually abused or hurt to please come forward."



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