2 Alamogordo parishes named in child sex abuse suit

A lawsuit centered on child molestation by former priest David Holley named two Alamogordo Catholic parishes and several dioceses as defendants.

The suit, filed in the 2nd Judicial District Court in Bernalillo County, alleged the Servants of Paraclete, the Catholic Diocese of El Paso, Diocese of Worcester, Diocese of Las Cruces, the Immaculate Conception Parish and St. Jude Parish allowed Holley to prey on boys within the Alamogordo parishes during his time in New Mexico in the 1970s.

The suit was filed by “John Doe” and demanded a jury trial and restitution. The complaint alleged negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress, vicarious liability, public nuisance and racketeering.

Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Alamogordo offered no comment on the suit.

The suit places most of the blame on Holley’s home diocese: the Diocese of Worcester in Massachusetts.

It gives a history of child sexual offenses that Holley was alleged to have perpetrated in Massachusetts prior to transfer to the Servants of the Paraclete in New Mexico.

The Servants of the Paraclete operated a rehabilitation center initially for priests with substance abuse issues before it admitted priests with psycho-sexual disorder, which was what Holley had, according to the complaint.

The home in which Holley lived was located across the street from a school in Alamogordo, and was owned by the Diocese of El Paso and the St. Jude and Immaculate Conception parishes, according to the complaint.

At the time, St. Jude Catholic Church was a mission parish under Immaculate Conception Catholic Church.

Alamogordo was a part of the Diocese of El Paso up until the Diocese of Las Cruces was established in 1982.

According to the complaint, Holley and another priest, Wilfred Diamond, who also lived in the house, showed the plaintiff and other boys pornography before what the complaint terms as “sexual crimes” were committed.

Other allegations are that Holley took pornographic photos of boys and sexually assaulted them weekly for about three years. The complaint does not indicate the number of victims beyond “John Doe.”

The authorities were not notified of the alleged abuse at the time, the complaint states. Holley died in 2008.

“Plaintiff is only now discovering and realizing the nature of … Holley’s abuse, the effect it had on him and the fact that he sustained severe psychological injury and a result of … Holley’s childhood sexual abuse,” the complaint states.

The complaint blames the defendants for not warning the community that pedophiles were in their midst.

The complaint also alleged that St. Jude Parish, Immaculate Conception Catholic Church and the Diocese of El Paso committed fraud when funds collected during mass were used to pay for the priests’ house in Alamogordo.

Allegations include assault and battery as well as sexual assault and child pornography.

Damages to cover the alleged pain and suffering from Holley’s acts as an agent of the named Catholic dioceses, full compensatory damages, three times the actual damages and court costs were requested in the suit.

No requested monetary amounts were listed.

No court dates for this case were set.

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