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Exhibit In Lawsuit Alleges Lack of Action By Diocese

Jan 7, 2004 |

Were priests who were accused of sexually abusing children, moved from parish to parish by the Diocese of El Paso?

Attorneys representing an alleged victim said if the diocese had taken action, their client may not have been molested by former Cathedral High School Principal Brother Sam Martinez.

ABC-7 has obtained an exhibit from a lawsuit that attorneys claim prove a pattern of the diocese sweeping problems under the rug; one of the problems being, moving priests to different locations after being accused of sexual abuse at a prior location.

The exhibit is in the form of a letter allegedy sent to the bishop. The writer of the letter is referring to a priest named David Holley. Although the current suit names Martinez as the alleged abuser, attorneys are using what they are saying is a similar situation that took place years ago involving David Holley.

The background of Father Holley in relation to this lawsuit began in 1972. Father Holley was accepted to serve in Alamogordo under the Diocese of El Paso after receiving treatment for sexually abusing children. Alamogordo was under the Diocese of El Paso back then; it no longer is.

After complaints of sexual abuse in Alamogordo, Father Holley was transferred to St. Raphael's on El Paso's eastside.

The letter was written after another sexual abuse complaint against Holley.

The writer says, in his letter to the bishop, "I informed Father that his assignment at St Raphael's is immediately terminated and that I would have his things packed and shipped wherever he wished. Of course, Father was deeply humiliated and mortified and very apologetic. Bishop, I believe that Father Holley has the makings of a good priest. However, his problem must be faced up to. He cannot let this problem ruin the rest of his life. I share your skepticism about the traditional approach of psychiatry to this problem. I propose that you send Father to the Immaculate Conception with the understanding that Father Frias knows what the problem is."

The lawsuit goes on to allege Father Holley was moved to another parish in El Paso where he allegedy re-offended.

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