MIAMI (CBS4) — A South Florida man has filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Miami for alleged sexual abuse at the hands of a priest.
Thursday afternoon, sexual abuse victim Jorge Rubio and his attorney, Jeffrey Herman, held a news conference announcing the lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Miami alleging that Father Francisco Carrera molested Rubio has a young boy.
Rubio claims Carrera molested him in the mid-late 70s while Carrera was assigned to Our Lady of Divine Providence in West Miami-Dade County.
“Before I knew it, he was on a topic that was very uncomfortable for me to hear,” Rubio said. “And then he got his hands involved with what he was discussing which was puberty, masturbation, and then went ahead and performed these acts.”
The suit also alleges that the Archdiocese of Miami was aware that Carrera was sexually abusing boys and covered up for him by continuously transferring him to different parishes and eventually back to his home country of Spain.
According to the suit, Jorge Rubio was sexually abused by Carrera on two occasions as a 9-year old child in approximately 1976. The suit alleges that as a Priest, Carrera ingratiated himself and became close with Rubio and his family to obtain their confidence and trust.
“He would invited the boys out on camping trips, setting up tents and in these tents, he sexually abused boys, including, unfortunately, Jorge,” Herman said.
The suit alleges that Carrera first sexually abused Rubio at his home while his parents were sleeping and again on another occasion while they slept alone in a tent on a camping trip.
When CBS4′s Ted Scouten asked Jorge why he has waited more than three decades to come forward with his allegations of abuse, Rubio said he needed a moment of clarity before coming forward.
“I’ve gotten in trouble with the law, I’ve gotten on drugs, and all that stuff clouded my mind,” Rubio said. “And that takes years.”
Carrera was transferred to numerous different parishes during his time as a Priest with the Archdiocese of Miami. The suit alleges that in 1981, after allegations of sexual abuse filed by a former altar boy, Carrera was sent back to Spain.
That former altar boy filed a lawsuit against Carrera in 2002 claiming he was molested in the early 80s when he was just 13-years old.
Carrera is currently residing in Spain.
The Archdiocese of Miami has issued a release in response to the lawsuit.
“The Archdiocese of Miami policy on sexual abuse is very clear: a report of these allegations is made to the State Attorney’s office; our internal Archdiocesan Review Board reviews the allegation; and pastoral care and counseling are offered to the alleged victim. As always, the Catholic Church’s concerns are for the victims and a prevailing sense of justice. In addition, over these past nine years, the Archdiocese has been forthcoming and taken steps to keep children safe through training and background screenings of all its employees.”
The statement also reads, “In the Archdiocese of Miami 55,611 is the total number of employees (including clergy and religious), volunteers, contractors and vendors fingerprinted in the Archdiocese of Miami from the time the program began in 1998 through March 2011. 87,000 is the number of employees (including clergy and religious) and volunteers who received training in Virtus since the program began in 2004.”
“If anyone has been a victim of sexual abuse by a member of the clergy or church personnel, please come forward by contacting the Archdiocese of Miami’s Victims Assistance Coordinator, 1-866-802-2873, or contact your local law enforcement department.”
Rubio is asking for at least $5 million in damages, according to the lawsuit. But, Herman said the arch diocese has settled out of court on several cases before regarding the same priest.