Lawsuit against Archdiocese of Denver alleges sexual assault by Catholic priest

Lawsuit against Archdiocese of Denver alleges sexual assault by Catholic priest

JEFF HERMAN, a nationally-recognized attorney for victims of sexual abuse, announced the filing of a lawsuit against the ARCHDIOCESE OF DENVER for the sexual assault of a woman by FATHER JOSE SAENZ.

According to the Complaint:

  • Jane Doe first met Father Saenz on or about March 28, 2011, when Father Saenz performed the funeral service for Jane Doe’s friend who had passed away. Father Saenz was the Pastor at the Saint Mary of the Crown Mission in Carbondale, CO. At all material times, Father Saenz was acting as an agent and/or employee of the Archdiocese of Denver.
  • Following her friend’s death, Jane Doe became severely depressed and had suicidal thoughts.  On July 4, 2011, Jane Doe called Father Saenz to discuss her suicidal feelings. Father Saenz insisted that he meet with Jane Doe to counsel and pray with her. Father Saenz met Jane Doe at the Hotel Colorado in Glenwood Springs. Jane Doe had taken anti-depression and anti-anxiety medicine on that date and also drank large quantities of vodka to help with her depression.
  • Upon his arrival at the hotel, Father Saenz began taking advantage of Jane Doe’s intoxicated state instead of praying and counseling her.  Father Saenz removed Jane Doe’s clothing, placed her on the bed and prayed over her naked body.  Father Saenz then placed holy water on Jane Doe’s forehead and gave Jane Doe holy water to drink.  Father Saenz then removed his clothing and sexually assaulted Jane Doe.

Jeff Herman, the attorney for the victim in this case, stated:

“A member of the clergy should not use their position to take advantage of vulnerable women and have sex with them. My client looked to Father Saenz for counseling and guidance during a very difficult time. Rather than counseling this vulnerable woman, our lawsuit alleges Father Saenz used his position as pastor to satisfy his sexual desires.”

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