Complaints Allege Lay Employees Used Their Positions to Access & Sexually Abuse Minors
Attorneys Warn Deadline for Survivors to File Lawsuits Under the Child Victims Act is Less than Two Months Away
(Phoenix, AZ) – Today, attorneys from the law firms of Jeff Anderson & Associates and Montoya, Lucero and Pastor, on behalf of two courageous survivors, filed two child sexual abuse complaints under the Arizona Child Victims Act against the Diocese of Phoenix.
“The courageous survivors who brought suit today are reclaiming the power that was stolen from them as children,” said attorney Robert Pastor. “We are honored to stand with these survivors in their excavation of truths that have been hidden for decades.”
Among the complaints two lay employees at Catholic parishes in the Diocese of Phoenix are alleged to have sexually abused minors.
- Annette Slade alleges in her lawsuit that she was sexually abused multiple times when she was in fifth grade at approximately 10 years old by a music teacher at St. Thomas the Apostle School (Phoenix) in approximately 1970. Annette Slade and her mother reported the sexual abuse at the time. Soon after reporting the abuse she was asked by the pastor of the parish, Fr. John P. Doran, to leave the school.
- John RJ Doe alleges in his lawsuit that he was sexually abused over the course of two years by a Eucharistic minister, Maria Valdez, at St. William’s Parish (Cashion) from approximately 1984-1986.
“The Arizona Child Victims Act was designed, in part, to protect the identities of survivors while exposing the people and institutions who hurt them as children,” said Pastor. “Coming forward, publicly or anonymously, is tremendously brave. In doing so under the Child Victims Act, Annette Slade and John RJ Doe are making Arizona safer for kids today.”
The lawsuits were filed under HB2466 / Arizona’s Child Victims Act (CVA), which gives survivors until December 30, 2020 to bring lawsuits for sexual abuse they suffered as children in Arizona.
“The window of opportunity provided by the Arizona Child Victims Act was short to begin with,” said attorney Jeff Anderson. “With less than two months remaining for survivors to take action, every passing day brings greater urgency. It’s time – right now – for every survivor of child sexual abuse in Arizona to come forward.”
Annette Slade is available for comment with press. Please contact Robert Pastor with interview requests.
Robert Pastor is a well-known Phoenix attorney who has represented dozens of child sexual abuse survivors in Arizona. A former felony prosecutor, Mr. Pastor understands that while criminal justice may impose punishment, civil justice gives survivors the opportunity to reclaim their voice and place the shame and guilt caused by child sexual abuse squarely on the shoulders of the institutions who should be protecting children. Jeff Anderson of Jeff Anderson & Associates is one of the leading child sexual abuse attorneys in the country. He has represented hundreds of survivors over the last 37 years and pioneered the use of civil litigation to help sexual abuse survivors hold their abusers, and the institutions that protected those abusers, accountable.