More sex abuse lawsuits filed against Catholic priests who served in NM | KOB 4

More sex abuse lawsuits filed against Catholic priests who served in NM

Chris Ramirez
September 05, 2019 06:17 AM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- Two new lawsuit allege abuse in New Mexico Catholic churches.


A woman identified as "Jane Doe P" claims she was sexually molested by a teenage boy in 2001 when she was 10 years old.

Her parents sent her to see the priest at St. John the Bapist Catholic Church in Roswell for spiritual guidance.

The lawsuit claims, instead of spiritual guidance, the priest, Father Juan Montoya, raped her inside the church.

“One thing that jumps out about this case is how relatively recent it is,” said Levi Monagle, the woman’s attorney. “In the context of these cases, clergy abuse cases, across the country-- a lot of the victims are coming forward when they are 50, 60 years old. In this case, we have a victim who is younger than I am.

Father Juan Montoya is dead, but if he were alive, the case would be eligible for criminal prosecution.

In the Las Cruces area, an altar server who served Father Marcos Rizzo-Rico in the mid-1970s claims that priest sexually abused him for years. 

The alleged victim has filed a lawsuit as well.

Both cases are making their way through New Mexico's judicial system.


Chris Ramirez

Copyright 2019 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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