Woman claims L.A. priest raped her when she was 17, urged abortion
via San Diego Tribune
October 5, 2004
LOS ANGELES – A 24-year-old woman filed a lawsuit against the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles claiming that a priest raped her and pressured her to have an abortion.
The lawsuit, filed in Superior Court Monday, alleged that Rev. Jesus Garay repeatedly raped the girl in 1997 while she was a parishioner and part-time secretary at Holy Family Church in Wilmington.
The lawsuit alleged that the nation's largest archdiocese defied state law by failing to notify law enforcement of the sexual abuse and made no effort to gain medical care for the girl or to support the child after it was born.
"Instead, when Jane was well into her second trimester of pregnancy and it was visible, the Archdiocese spirited Fr. Garay out of the country to Argentina on the border with Uruguay," the lawsuit alleged.
Telephone calls made late Monday to an archdiocese spokesman were not immediately returned.
The girl became pregnant in December 1997 and Garay continued to sexually abuse her until about April 1998, the lawsuit alleged.
The girl, who was a 17-year-old high school student at the time of the alleged sexual attacks, was identified as "Jane Doe" in court papers.
State law allows alleged victims of church sexual abuse to bring civil lawsuits if they are under age 26 or have discovered psychological damage from abuse within the past three years.
An amendment to the state law gave alleged clergy abuse victims a one-year window in 2003 to file new claims.
The Los Angeles archdiocese faces nearly 500 clergy abuse lawsuits and recently was ordered to turn over confidential files of two priests as part of a separate criminal investigation.
The plaintiff in the lawsuit is seeking unspecified monetary damages, said Andrea Leavitt, one of her lawyers.
Garay has made some admissions that the woman's child could be his and "we would welcome him coming in for a DNA test," Leavitt said.