Man Drops Suit against Denver Priest

Albuquerque Journal (New Mexico)
May 23, 1995

The Rev. Charles Martinez from the beginning strongly denied allegations of sexual abuse made against him in a 1993 lawsuit, one of his attorneys said Monday after the suit was dismissed.

"I think Father Martinez wants to emphasize that he has received incredible support from people all over for the past two years, and now that this has been dismissed, he wants to continue his work as a priest," attorney Michele Guttmann said in a telephone interview.

She also said that she and co-counsel Nancy Hollander "interviewed upwards of 50 contemporaries of the plaintiff and they all had positive things to say about Father Martinez.

"He has staunchly maintained these allegations were false . . . there was only one victim in this case, and that was Father Martinez."

Martinez, of Denver, and three institutional defendants, were sued in December 1993 by Martin Romero, then of Las Vegas, N.M., who alleged the priest molested him beginning when Romero was 12.

Romero dismissed the institutional defendants in April and dismissed Martinez this month, ending the suit.

Plaintiff's attorney Bruce Pasternack said last week that his client "felt that it would be best for all concerned" to dismiss the suit.

Guttmann said when the suit was filed Martinez "was immediately relieved of his job" with the Hispanic Ministries Office of the Archdiocese of Denver, and his next task will be "to try to regain his religious faculties and his employment.

"He is now pumping gas, and he has been out of a job for a year and a half," Guttmann said.


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