Lawsuit claims Catholic priests, nuns abused boys at Albuquerque orphanage | KOB 4

Lawsuit claims Catholic priests, nuns abused boys at Albuquerque orphanage

Patrick Hayes
Updated: August 07, 2020 10:16 PM
Created: August 07, 2020 09:36 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- A new lawsuit claims Catholic priests and nuns in Albuquerque abused orphans.

"I think St. Anthony's orphanage has been around forever or was around forever. And then in the 1950s, 1960s, and we're actually learning even prior to that had a problem with physical and sexual abuse of children who were placed there," said Levi Monagle, an attorney representing a man who claims he was abused at the orphanage.

According to the lawsuit, John Doe 167 became a "captive sex toy" for the chaplain, visiting priests and nuns.

Attorneys say the victim was a resident of St. Anthony's, which was located on Indian School near 12th Street, from 1958 to 1965. They say the abuse started when their client was 6 years old.

The lawsuit names a specific priest that would give altar wine to relax the alleged victim during the sexual abuse. 

The lawsuit also says, as a result, the victim suffers from PTSD, depression and loss of faith.

Monagle said he's also been in contact with other alleged victims.

"We've already had calls from other folks that were at St. Anthony's. It's never just one," he said. "This -- what you're looking at -- in a place like St. Anthony's is a pattern, and practice and really a culture that looked at these children as something less, maybe something less than human in the eyes of these abusers."

St. Anthony's was run by the Sisters of Saint Francis, which is based in Colorado Springs. They are the subject of the lawsuit.

Sister Marietta Spenner told KOB 4, "I am deeply troubled by the recent allegations that have been brought forth.?I do not believe that anything like that ever occurred at St. Anthony's orphanage."? 

Approximately 6,000 boys, who ranged in age from newborns to 14 years old, stayed at St. Anthony's orphanage during its 68 years of service, according to the Sisters of Saint Francis.

The orphanage, which was located on Indian School near 12th Street, was closed in the early 80s. 

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