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Suits ID ex-priests accused of abuse

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Recent lawsuits against the Archdiocese of Santa Fe identify two former priests whose names have surfaced in the past as alleged sexual abusers, including one who was the victim of a 1997 homicide.

The lawsuits, both filed in August in state District Court in Albuquerque, were filed by unidentified men who say they were raped as boys by priests who served in parishes in the archdiocese. Archdiocese officials could not be reached for comment on Monday.

In one lawsuit, a New Mexico native now living out of state alleged he was raped over a period of about two years while serving as an altar boy at Sacred Heart Church in Española in the late 1980s.

The suit identifies the attacker as the Rev. Armando Martinez, who at age 62 was killed by a blow to the head after he picked up a hitchhiker near Bernalillo, according to news reports. Dennis Carbajal, then 38, was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to 50 years in prison for the killing. Carbajal later died in prison.

Martinez was ordained a priest in the Archdiocese of Santa Fe in 1961 and served in several parishes throughout the state. The archdiocese relieved Martinez of ministerial duties in 1993 after he was accused of sexual misconduct with a minor boy several years earlier, according to news reports. He retired in 1994.

The lawsuit, filed by Albuquerque attorney Brad Hall, identifies as a co-defendant the religious order Servants of the Paraclete, which operated a facility in Jemez Springs where many pedophile priests were sent for treatment until its closure in the 1990s. The suit alleges that Martinez was sent to the facility in 1988.

In the second lawsuit, an unnamed San Miguel County native alleged that he was sexually abused as a boy in the 1980s by Sabine Griego, a former priest in the archdiocese. The abuse allegedly occurred both at Griego’s home in Montezuma and at Queen of Heaven Parish in Albuquerque. Griego could not be reached for comment.

Griego has been identified as an abuser in previous lawsuits. A 1993 lawsuit alleged that then-Archbishop Robert Sanchez transferred Griego to Albuquerque in 1979 after allegations that he had molested boys in Las Vegas, N.M.

Griego resigned from Queen of Heaven in 1991 after sexual misconduct allegations were made against him there, according to news reports. He was later suspended by the archdiocese.

In a lawsuit filed last year, an unnamed man alleged he was raped by Griego in 1986 during the priest’s tenure as pastor of Queen of Heaven parish from 1979 to 1991. The alleged victim contends he was a 17-year-old freshman at the University of New Mexico and considering a vocation as a priest at the time of the attack, the suit said.

Hall has filed 47 lawsuits since 2009 against the archdiocese and other Roman Catholic entities, including at least nine naming the Servants of the Paraclete as co-defendants. At least 21 of those lawsuits have been settled for undisclosed amounts,and about 10 are scheduled for trial in 2016.

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