Increasing numbers of mostly Hispanic Arizona men have been coming forward
to allege they were victims of molestation and rape as young parishioners
in the early 40s. One priest, Rev. Clement A. Hageman in particular is
alleged to have abused young boys until his death in 1975.
Hageman’s accusers allege that the priest, who was known to be charismatic
and popular within his diocese, was “dumped” in the mainly
Hispanic and impoverished towns of Holbrook, Winslow, and Kingman to avoid
scandal on the part of Catholic Church officials.
Alfred Moya, a 70-year old filing a lawsuit against the church, is likely
the first person to sue over Hageman’s abusive past. Attorney Robert
E. Pastor of Montoya, Jimenez & Pastor, P.A. is representing Mr. Moya
along with at least two more plaintiffs, local men who allege they were
also victims of Hageman. Attorney Pastor noted that several other clients
had settled with the Diocese of Gallup, N.M. for other charges leveled
against Father Hageman.
Mr. Moya’s suit was filed in Coconino County Superior Court last
August and named the same New Mexico diocese as a defendant. Gallup is
supposed to oversee the churches where Father Hageman preached for most
of his life. The suit also includes the Diocese of Corpus Christi, Texas
and the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, New Mexico, claiming these were involved
in placing Hageman in Arizona.
The Corpus Christi Diocese responded in a statement saying the charges
did not involve any current member of the clergy or church worker connected
to them; while the Gallup Diocese claimed it did not have enough information
to know the veracity of Mr. Moya’s statements.
If you suffered any sort of mistreatment or were injured in an accident,
do not hesitate to call
Montoya, Jimenez & Pastor, P.A. and our Phoenix personal injury attorneys can work hard for your compensation.
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