New lawsuit claims abuse by ex-priest

Rocky Mountain News/July 26, 2008

A lawsuit filed Friday against Denver's Catholic Archdiocese alleges the Rev. Harold Robert White, who is now deceased, molested a young man in a Wheat Ridge parish in the 1980s.

The man who filed the suit, now in his 40s and living in California, says that church officials could have prevented the molestation.

White, who died in November 2006, worked in 11 parishes over 33 years. This is the third suit filed against the archdiocese this month naming White, according to a statement issued by the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

Earlier this month, the Denver Archdiocese settled 18 clergy sex abuse lawsuits. That came after 10 lawsuits naming White were settled in January 2007.

White also worked in parishes in Denver, Colorado Springs, Sterling, Loveland, Minturn, Aspen, Grand Lake, Steamboat Springs and Eagle.

This is the most recent allegation of abuse against White, and the first lawsuit from his years in Wheat Ridge.

The archdiocese said Friday it regrets that anyone has experienced childhood sexual abuse by clergy and encouraged victims to come forward.

"Each person who takes legal action helps strip away the decades of secrecy and corruption and complicity that enabled these crimes to take place," Kirsten Boyd, spokeswoman for the survivors group, said in a statement.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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