Catholic Priest Sex Abuse Trial to Begin in December 2021
By Nicole Maxwell
Alamogordo Daily News
February 11, 2021
A trial date was set in the case of the late Fr. David Holley, who allegedly sexually abused a victim in Alamogordo.
New Mexico Second Judicial District Judge Daniel Ramczyk set the jury trial date for the case as Dec. 13.
The complainant, listed as John Doe, allegedly was one of several of Holley's victims in Alamogordo in the 1970s, court records state.
Doe filed a tort against several parishes, dioceses and the Servants of the Paraclete about their alleged involvement in the events leading to Holley being moved to Alamogordo in the 1970s.
Holley was sent to the Servants of the Paraclete facility in 1971.
Servants of the Paraclete had two New Mexico locations at the time, one in Albuquerque and one in Jemez Springs.
Holley was sent to the Albuquerque Servants of the Paraclete location to get help for "pedophilic tendencies: following allegations in Holley's home diocese in Worcester, Massachusetts, records show.
Holley was at the Albuquerque location for about a year, according to a 1993 affidavit submitted by Holley to the Second Judicial Court in 1993.
According to the affidavit, Holley wanted to go to a Servants of the Paraclete facility on the East Coast.
"Bishop(Bernard) Flanagan told me he wanted me to go to Servants of the Paraclete in New Mexico," the affidavit states. "On March 23, 1971, I wrote to the Bishop telling him I would prefer to stay at a Paraclete house in the East, like their Vermont facility, but that I would do as he wished when he made the arrangements... It was clear to me that Bishop Flanagan was fearful that if I stayed in Massachusetts I would repeat the acts for which I had been in treatment, and that this would, in turn, cause further scandal in the Diocese."
Originally the Servants of the Paraclete was opened to help clergy with alcohol and substance abuse problems before it started taking and attempted to treat priests who were allegedly sexually abusing children.
Holley was eventually moved to what was then St. Jude Mission Church in Alamogordo. That church is St. Jude Catholic Parish now.
The suit was filed on March 31, 2020 and it alleged negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress, vicarious liability, public nuisance and racketeering by the defendants in the case.
Defendants named in the suit are the Servants of the Paraclete, St. Jude Parish, Immaculate Conception Catholic Church and the Dioceses of Worcester, El Paso and Las Cruces as parties in the lawsuit.
St. Jude Parish and Immaculate Conception Catholic Church are included in the El Paso Diocese's request for dismissal.
Immaculate Conception Catholic Church is included as St. Jude was under its jurisdiction at the time.
Holley was not assigned to either Alamogordo parish at the time but he did live across the street from a Catholic school in Alamogordo, court records state.
Holley lived in the house across from the Catholic school with another priest Fr. Wilfred Diamond who is also alleged to have sexually abused Doe and others in the 1970s.
Holley was convicted of child sexual penetration by the 12th Judicial District Court in 1993.
Holley plead guilty to the charges which at the time were listed as aggravated sodomy, sodomy and sexual assault. The grand jury indictment found that Holley committed the alleged charges in the early 1970s.
Holley was sentenced up to 275 years in prison and died in 2008.
Diamond died in 1995.
All parties in the suit denied the allegations and have asked for the case to be dismissed.
Help for victims of child sexual abuse
The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, also known as SNAP, is the oldest and largest support group for those wounded by religious authority figures. Holley victim Phil Saviano who was abused by Holley in Douglas, Massachusetts in the Worcester Diocese in the 1960s founded the SNAP New England chapter.
Anyone with any knowledge of sexual abuse incidents is advised to call their local police department and then the Diocese of Las Cruces Victim Coordinator Yvonne Bower at email@example.com or call 575-523-7577.
Nicole Maxwell can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org , by phone at 575-415-6605 or on Twitter at @nicmaxreporter.