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Former altar boy claims he was molested by 3 Alamogordo priests

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A former altar boy, now a man of 34, alleges in lawsuits that three priests at St. Jude Parish in Alamogordo molested him for years, the Alamogordo Daily News reported.

Plaintiff Eran Joseph McManemy also claims in his lawsuit that church officials knew that one of the priests had been sexually abusing boys since the 1960s but did nothing to stop him, the Daily News said.

That priest, the Rev. David Holley, left a long trail of molestations at churches from Worcester, Mass., to parishes in New Mexico and Texas, the paper reported.

Holley was sentenced in 1993 to 275 years in prison for sodomizing and molesting eight other boys in Alamogordo, the Daily News said. He died in prison in 2008 at the age of 80.

The other two priests alleged to have molested McManemy at St. Jude were the Revs. Daniel Barfield and Wilfrid Diamond, according to the lawsuit.

The chancellor of the Diocese of Las Cruces, which oversees St. Jude Parish, said he hadn’t seen the lawsuit and wasn’t able to comment on it, and a phone call seeking comment from the Diocese of El Paso, which oversaw Holley in the early 1970s, wasn’t returned to the Daily News.

McManemy was a child of 9, living with his grandparents, when he moved to Alamogordo and joined St. Jude Parish in 1987, the Daily News said.

He became an altar boy for Diamond, who was then parish priest and who began molesting him right away, according to the lawsuit.

Merit Bennett, one of McManemy’s lawyers who has handled 100 to 150 cases involving alleged molestation by priests, said McManemy also was physically and sexually assaulted by Barfield, who was named pastor of the St. Jude Parish some time around 1990, the Daily News said.

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