Lawsuit alleges child sexual abuse by former Diocese of Orlando priest, Father William Authenrieth

Lawsuit alleges child sexual abuse by former Diocese of Orlando priest, Father William Authenrieth


Child Sexual Abuse Lawsuit Filed Against Diocese of Orlando

Lawsuit alleges former Diocese of Orlando priest, Father William Authenreith, sexually abused a former altar boy

WHAT: Jeff Herman, a nationally recognized attorney for victims of sexual abuse, announces the filing of a lawsuit against the DIOCESE OF ORLANDO for the sexual abuse of a teenage boy by Father William Authenreith in 1983.

According to the Complaint:

·         Between approximately Fall 1983 through Spring 1984, Father William Authenreith sexually molested John Doe, a 14-year-old altar boy, on repeated occasions. The molestation occurred on the premises of All Souls Church in Sanford, Florida, where John Doe was a parishioner and altar boy and Father Authenreith was serving as the Pastor.

·         Father Authenreith was abruptly transferred in late Spring 1984 by the Diocese of Orlando to another parish in Mount Dora, Florida.

·         Upon information and belief, officials in the Diocese of Orlando were aware that Father Authenreith was engaging in inappropriate sexual relations with boys.

·         Instead of removing Father Authenreith or addressing the complaint, the Diocese of Orlando purposefully concealed these unlawful acts of abuse from the public to avoid “scandal” to the Church. Indeed, Father Authenreith climbed the ladder of the Diocese of Orlando’s hierarchy while simultaneously being transferred between and among parishes to prevent parishioners from learning of Father Authenreith’s pattern of abuse. 

John Doe No. 102 v. Diocese of Orlando (Case No. 2013-CA-011985-O) was filed on Monday in Orange County Circuit Court.  A copy of the complaint is available upon request.

Jeff Herman, the attorney for the victim in this case, stated: “According to our lawsuit, the Diocese of Orlando chose to avoid scandal by concealing Father Authenreith’s wrongdoing, rather than protect children and help his victims heal.”

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