Priest in Underwear Chases Boy Down Street
PORTLAND, Ore. (CN) - A priest dressed in his underwear chased a boy down the street after getting him drunk and sexually abusing him, the boy's guardian claims in court.
Sam Friedenberg, guardian for J.T., sued the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Portland and his successors, and Saint Luke Catholic Church of Woodburn, Ore., in Multnomah County Court, alleging sexual battery of a child and negligence.
The boy was 11 and 12 years old when Fr. Angel Armando Perez sexually groomed him, gave him alcohol and molested him, Friedenberg claims in the lawsuit.
Perez is not named as a defendant. He pleaded guilty on April 1, 2013 to sexually abusing the boy and giving him alcohol, the complaint states. He was sentenced to 6 years in prison, according to Oregon press reports.
After he befriended the boy, and counseling him "emotionally and spiritually," the complaint states, "On the night of August 12-13, 2012, plaintiff was staying at Fr. Perez's residence at the rectory of Saint Luke's Church. Fr. Perez-through the grooming that was within the course and scope of his employment and agency, and using the authority and position of trust as a priest for defendants - engaged in various sexual activities with plaintiff.
"Around midnight on August 13, 2012, plaintiff awoke to find Perez fondling his genitals and taking pictures of his genitals with a cellular phone. Fr. Perez himself was disrobed from the waist down, exposing his own genitals to plaintiff. After recovering from the shock, plaintiff got up, hurriedly attempted to clothe himself, and fled from the church rectory on foot, running from the priest. Fr. Perez - now in his underwear - began to chase his minor parishioner down the street, screaming for the plaintiff to stop. Terrified, plaintiff sought refuge with a neighborhood family who provided him safety."
It adds: "By the 1950s, and certainly by 2005 (after it had filed bankruptcy), the Archdiocese of Portland was aware of a systemic danger of child molestation by its priests." (Parentheses in complaint.)
The guardian seeks $8.5 million for the child.
They are represented by William Barton, of Newport, Ore.