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California Briefing / Orange

Molestation suit names diocese

July 01, 2009|My-Thuan Tran

A former altar boy has filed a suit against the Diocese of Orange, alleging that he was sexually abused by a priest between 1990 and 1992.

The plaintiff, now 29 and not publicly identified, alleged that when he was 10 to 12, Father Sinon Falvey molested and sexually harassed him. He alleges that Falvey forced him to strip, repeatedly fondled him and engaged in sexual talk.

Falvey died in 2005. The lawsuit, filed in Orange County Superior Court, does not identify the defendants, but John Manly, the plaintiff's attorney, identified them as the Diocese of Orange, St. Norbert's Church, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and Falvey's estate.

The lawsuit, filed last week and discussed at a news conference Tuesday, asserts that church officials knew of Falvey's "dangerous propensities" but ignored or covered up the truth. The lawsuit also alleges that church officials failed to adopt "reasonable safeguards" and put Falvey in situations where he had contact with children.

"We want to make people aware of the allegation and hope that others will come forward so that this never happens again," Manly said.

Manly said this is the first lawsuit that listed Falvey as a child molester.

A representative of the Orange diocese said officials there have not been served with the complaint and only became aware of the lawsuit through media inquiries.

"We will review this complaint in detail when received through the appropriate legal channels," said spokesman Ryan Lilyengren.

-- My-Thuan Tran

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