Questa Priest Accused of Sexual Abuse

By Liz McKernan
The Koat
April 3, 2013

[with video]

Lawsuit claims priest sexually abused altar boy in the late '80s

The civil suit, filed Tuesday, accuses the church of negligence in training, or checking the background of Father Michael O'Brien, who served at St. Anthony's Parish in Questa.

According to the suit, O'Brien "groomed" the altar boy by giving him massages.

Soon after, the priest is accused of sexually assaulting the boy for more than a year.

That alleged victim is now 37, and didn't come forward about the abuse until last year, but his attorney said there could be more victims out there.

"There's always that possibility. The priest profession, and how the church handled pedophile priests, has sort of always led to questions of that possibility," attorney Brad Hall said.

The current whereabouts of O'Brien are unknown at this time, though he is believed to be dead.

The following statement was released from the Archdiocese of Santa Fe:

"This alleged incident occurred 30 years ago. The archdiocese has had a zero-tolerance policy in place for over 20 years. We do not comment on pending litigation."


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