Sex abuse lawsuit filed against Catholic Diocese of Yakima
YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) — A lawsuit alleging sexual abuse of a minor has been filed against the Catholic Diocese of Yakima in Superior Court.
The Yakima Herald-Republic reports the lawsuit was filed Tuesday on behalf of a young man who says Rev. Gustavo Gomez Santos abused him at St. Juan Diego Catholic Church in Cowiche in 2012 when the alleged victim was 16 or 17 years old.
The lawsuit claims the Diocese of Yakima knew or should have known that Gomez posed a danger but failed to prevent him from sexually abusing the plaintiff.
After the man reported the abuse to the Yakima County Sheriff’s Office in May, Bishop Joseph Tyson removed Gomez from public ministry. The diocese is seeking to have him defrocked.
While Gomez has denied the allegations, Monseigneur Robert Siler, the diocese’s chancellor, said in an email to the Associated Press that Tyson believes the abuse did occur and regrets it. However, Siler also disputed the assertion that the diocese knew or should have known Gomez posed a danger.