Man, 50, Sues Santa Fe Archdiocese, Claims Abuse by Disgraced Priest
By Rebecca Moss
July 6, 2017
A 50-year-old man has filed suit against the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, claiming he was repeatedly molested in the 1970s by a priest who had a history of sexual abuse that the Catholic Church concealed.
The plaintiff, listed in court records only as John Doe 68, says he was sexually assaulted by the Rev. Jason Sigler at Immaculate Conception Parish in Las Vegas, N.M., for two years beginning in 1976. John Doe 68 was an altar boy for Sigler.
He claims in his suit that Sigler forced him into “hundreds of sexual abuse events, each a violation of criminal sexual penetration laws.”
Messages seeking comment from the archdiocese were not immediately returned.
The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in state District Court in Albuquerque, says the archdiocese knew of Sigler’s history of sexually abusing children before he was assigned to the parish in Las Vegas.
Sigler was a priest in Detroit and molested several boys in Michigan in 1969, said Brad Hall, the attorney representing John Doe. Hall said that the church sent Sigler to the Servants of the Paraclete in New Mexico for treatment of pedophilia in 1970, then assigned him to different parishes in Michigan and New Mexico. Hall said Sigler had multiple stays at Paraclete.
“Defendants Archdiocese, Parish and Paraclete all knew or should have known of the defendant priest’s sexual abuse of minors, and knew or should have known of the sexual abuse of hundreds of other children by many more area priests, and did nothing to stop or warn parishioners of the likelihood of future abuse,” the lawsuit states.
Sigler first pleaded guilty to child sexual abuse in 1983, receiving probation. He later served 10 years in jail and prison in Michigan for molesting boys. Sigler then settled in Albuquerque, registering as a sex offender. He’s now 78 years old.
He has been named by at least 45 people in civil lawsuits on sexual abuse claims. They include 17 New Mexico men who settled a case against him for $13 million in 1993, according to Bishop-Accountability.org, a database of priests that have been accused of molestation in the United States.
Contact Rebecca Moss at 505-986-3011 or firstname.lastname@example.org.