Second man sues Santa Rosa diocese: Suit seeks damages for alleged child molestation by former Eureka priest

The Times Standard, California/August 27, 2010

A second man is suing the Roman Catholic Diocese of Santa Rosa, alleging in a complaint filed Thursday that he was repeatedly molested as an 11-year-old by a former priest at St. Bernard's Parish in Eureka in 1983.

The suit, filed in Sonoma County Superior Court by the 38-year-old "John Doe 77," alleges that the church committed fraud and acted negligently when it placed priest Patrick Joseph McCabe in the Eureka parish from 1983 to 1985, knowing that McCabe had been deemed a pedophile and without warning parishioners. The suit seeks unspecified damages to compensate the plaintiff for psychological and emotional injuries, as well as reimbursement for medical and mental health expenses.

According to the suit, the diocese "had a duty to not hire and/or retain McCabe, given McCabe's dangerous and exploitive propensities."

Last week, a 35-year-old Humboldt County man filed a similar lawsuit, alleging he was molested by McCabe when he was a 9-year-old altar boy for St. Bernard's in 1984.

Both plaintiffs filed the case under the alias "John Doe" under privacy rights granted by the California Constitution due to the sensitive nature of the allegations. Both "John Does" received credit for their tuition by working with McCabe.

Diocese Director of Communications Deirdre Frontczak said the diocese has not seen the suit and could not comment.

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