Lawsuit in New Mexico Alleges Pedophile Priest was Transferred to other Parishes where Abuse Continued

Posted on: July 6, 2020 Catholic Church Sexual Abuse

A lawsuit, filed by a ‘John Doe’ in order to protect the victim’s identity, was filed in Bernalillo County, New Mexico against two Alamogordo parishes, as well as dioceses within the states of New Mexico and Massachusetts. The lawsuit alleges the victim was sexually abused by a former priest, Rev. David Holley, and that the diocese and parishes included in the lawsuit are partly responsible because they allowed a known predator to prey on young children. The diocese and parishes specifically noted in the suit include:

  • The Diocese of Worcester (Massachusetts)
  • The Diocese of Las Cruces (New Mexico)
  • The Diocese of El Paso (New Mexico)
  • Congregation of the Servants of Paraclete (New Mexico)
  • Immaculate Conception Parish (Alamogordo, New Mexico)
  • St. Jude Parish (Alamogordo, New Mexico)
Alamogordo parishes named in child sex abuse suit

Egerton, Brooks, “Path of a Pedophile”, Dallas Morning News, August 31, 1997

David Holley, the priest named in the suit, has a documented history of sexual abuse. In 1997, the Dallas Morning News reported Holley’s known abuse in an article titled “Documents Show Bishops Transferred Known Abuse” . [, an organization aimed at exposing clergy guilty of child sex abuse, has included a link to the original article on its website.] Holley served in Worcester Massachusetts from 1962-1969. In 1968, the Worcester Bishop, Bernard J. Flanagan, wrote a letter to a Catholic therapist in Massachusetts to whom he referred Holley for treatment. His letter included the following statement(s):

“This man has been … [accused of] molesting teenage boys on at least two occasions—most recently in a hospital from which he has been barred—and with carrying around and showing to these boys pornographic magazines and books.”

In 1971, Bishop Flanagan recommended that Holley be transferred to the houses of Paraclete Fathers (and order of priests) in New Mexico. Once accepted, he held positions in Albuquerque (1971, 1986-87), Alamogordo (1972-1975), and El Paso (1976-1977). The lawsuit states that it was during Holley’s time in Alamogordo that the sexual abuse occurred. Holley also had assignments in Texas and Colorado.

In this particular suit, and in other lawsuits like the one against the Charlotte Diocese, a similar theme appears in which we see priests transferred to other dioceses who have a history of sexually abusing children. The lack of transparency and oversight to protect youth continues to plague the Catholic Church as survivors continue to come forward.

The entire article can be viewed here.

Sexual Abuse Lawyer for New Mexico and Massachusetts Clergy Abuse Victims

If you or a loved one were a victim of sexual abuse within the New Mexico or Massachusetts Dioceses, contact our firm today. Our law firm handles New Mexico and Massachusetts sexual abuse lawsuits and can help you understand how long you have to file a clergy abuse claim in both states. Call us now at 1-800-941-7209 for a FREE and PRIVATE consultation.