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Lawsuit against ex-Hobbs Catholic priest dropped

HOBBS, N.M. — Attorneys have dropped a lawsuit against a former New Mexico priest accused of sexually abusing an adult male parishioner.

The Hobbs News-Sun reports attorneys for the alleged victim last week moved to dismiss a lawsuit against former Hobbs St. Helena Catholic Church priest Ricardo Bauza after criminal charges against him were dropped.

But a lawsuit against the Diocese of Las Cruces and the Hobbs church remains.

The lawsuit says the diocese facilitated sexual battery and assisted Bauza in evading authorities.

Bauza’s attorneys, Jason Bowles and Robert Gorence, say the allegations against their client “had no credibility” and the lawsuit was filed by a “troubled and misguided man.”

Deacon Jim Winder, vice chancellor for the diocese, says Bauza is still a priest but is not assigned in the diocese.