A sex abuse lawsuit has been filed against the Archdiocese of San Antonio and Archbishop Jose Gomez -- the man tapped to take over the Los Angeles archdiocese.More:
A West Texas teen filed the lawsuit Thursday alleging repeated sexual assaults by the Rev. John M. Fiala. The teen claims the church's leadership should have known the priest was abusive.
The lawsuit accuses the priest of repeatedly sexually assaulting the teen, including twice forcing him to have sex at gunpoint when Fiala was the pastor at Sacred Heart of Mary Parish in the remote community of Rocksprings. The lawsuit alleges the incidents occurred in 2007 and 2008, during Gomez's tenure overseeing a swath of south and west Texas.
The teen's attorney, Tom Rhodes, said Fiala was "moved around quite a bit" and they believe the church "knew he was a serious problem."
Doe says he met Fiala in 2007, and that soon Fiala "lavished expensive gifts on [him], including an expensive laptop computer, cell phone, an MP3 player and money and, later, a car. He bought and provided alcohol to Doe".What did the Archbishop José Gómez know, and when did he know it?
In early 2008, Doe says, "under the pretext of giving [him] private catechism classes," Fiala began sexually molesting him "once or twice a month," including "on church grounds."
In January 2008, Doe says, on the pretext of taking him to a "youth event" in San Angelo, Fiala took him to a Motel 6 there, held him "at gun point [and] anally raped the boy, anally penetrating him. Father Fiala threatened Doe I, saying, 'If you tell anyone what happened, I will hurt you and your family.' In February, Fiala assaulted the boy again, including anal penetration on a similar trip."
Next, Doe says, Fiala bought him a Chrysler Sebring. "When the car needed some work, Doe I went to the rectory and Fiala gave him $80 for repairs, saying Doe I had to perform oral sex to get the keys. The boy complied at the priest's room in the rectory," the complaint states.
Then Fiala began to send him text messages "daily," Doe says.
"When Doe I ignored the texts, Fiala threatened to kill the boy, saying he would then kill himself so they could be in heaven together," according to the complaint.
Doe says Fiala arranged another meeting, where he "pulled a revolver on the boy and forced Doe I to perform fellatio on the priest. This occurred in August 2008."
Doe says, "Finally, unable to take it anymore, Doe I ran away from home and eventually tried to commit suicide."
He says his school counselor finally reported the abuse to authorities.