Ex-Altar Boy Sues Dioceses

Houston Chronicle
March 25, 1998

LUBBOCK - A former West Texas altar boy has sued the Catholic dioceses in Lubbock and Amarillo, alleging that a now-dead priest abused him for 10 years until his death from cancer in 1992.

The plaintiff, identified as John Doe in court papers filed last week in Lubbock, contends diocesan officials "knew or should have known" sex allegations had been made against the late Rev. Rodney Howell in the late 1970s and early 80s.

The plaintiff alleges that Howell's abuse began in 1982, shortly after the priest arrived at St. Pius X Catholic Church in O'Donnell, about 40 miles south of Lubbock. The plaintiff contends abuse continued for 10 years while Howell was pastor in O'Donnell and nearby Tahoka. The former altar boy, who now lives in Arizona, is seeking unspecified damages from the dioceses and the estate of Howell.


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