Priest's Kin Alleges Sex Abuse in Suit

By Stephanie Innes
Arizona Daily Star (Tucson)
January 6, 2004

The nephew of a Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson priest is suing the diocese and his uncle, saying his uncle sexually abused him.

The priest, the Rev. Fernando Manzo, has been missing since last month when Tucson Diocese Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas placed him on administrative leave because of an ongoing criminal investigation of the priest by the Tucson Police Department. Tucson police have not charged Manzo with anything but are investigating reports that he molested his nephew during the 1980s.

The nephew, who says he repressed memories of the abuse until recently, is 31 years old and is employed by the Army in California. The lawsuit was filed by Tucson attorney Lynne M. Cadigan, who has filed numerous sexual abuse lawsuits against the diocese, including 11 that were settled out of court for a multimillion-dollar payout from the diocese in 2002.

The diocese has not yet seen the latest lawsuit and therefore could not comment, spokesman Fred Allison said.

While Tucson police Sgt. Marco Borboa said the allegations against Manzo, who is 47, are not related to his work as a priest, the lawsuit, filed Monday in Pima County Superior Court, claims that Manzo molested his nephew on diocese property. Until he disappeared last month, Manzo was pastor of San Felipe de Jesus Parish in Nogales, Ariz.


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