Monday, April 27, 2015

Sex Abuse Lawsuit Fuels Push to Oust San Francisco Priest

The San Francisco Gate reports today that an "old" lawsuit is fueling a push to oust a San Francisco Catholic priest due to allegations of sexual abuse. (See story here).  The lawsuit dates back to 2005 and accused the parish priest of inflicting emotional distress upon an 11 year old girl in Modesto, CA after the girl reported alleged sex abuse by another priest.  The lawsuit alleges that Rev. Joseph Illo called the girl a "liar" and forced her to confront the priest whom she alleges committed the sexual abuse upon her (Rev. Joseph Arakal).

No criminal charges were filed against Arakal and a civil jury found the parish not liable for sexual assault.   However, the jury did issue a $20,000 verdict for infliction of emotional distress for the manner in which the investigation was handled by the church representatives.

The present complaints to ouster the vicar follow prior complaints by parents of acts banning girls from serving mass and handing out brochures regarding sensitive topics such as abortion and masturbation to children at the school.  Both the priest in question and the archdiocese of the parish have refused to provide any formal statement related to the parental complaints.