New Mexico Sexual Abuse Lawsuits
New Mexico is making some efforts to change its statute of limitation laws to allow survivors of sexual abuse and assault to get justice against their abusers, while also allowing for compensation. These laws enable lawyers handling sexual abuse claims in New Mexico to file cases against sexual predators, including clergy members.
Below you will find information on New Mexico’s statute of limitations laws. These laws are important because they dictate how long a lawyer handling an New Mexicon sexual assault case has to file a claim on behalf of a survivor. In addition, we’ve compiled a list of New Mexico’s settlements and jury awards received by sexual abuse and assault survivors and a list of New Mexico’s ‘credibly’ accused priests released by the dioceses.
New Mexico Statute of Limitations for Sexual Abuse & Assault
New Mexico is one of many states introducing reform bills to change its current statute of limitation laws (SOLs) for child sex abuse claims. If passed, these reforms would give survivors of sexual abuse more time to file claims. A highlight of the proposed reform would be a revival window for expired claims against perpetrators to help sexual abuse survivors.
Criminal Statute of Limitation Laws for New Mexico
In New Mexico, there is no SOL for 1st degree felonies. The SOL for all other crimes is 3 to 6 years depending on the offense. For the crime of sexual penetration, if DNA is collected the SOL will only start running once a match is found. Child USA, who has evaluated every state based on their criminal statute of limitation laws, gave New Mexico a a Criminal SOL score of 3, on a 1-5 scale, where 5 is the highest. A score of 3 is defined as a criminal SOL eliminated for felonies only.
Civil Statute of Limitation Laws for New Mexico
In 2020, New Mexico has an important bill that is working through legislation for sexual abuse survivors. First, it would eliminate the civil SOL for claims against institutions only as well as revive all expired claims against them. It would also have the 3-year discovery rule run from knowledge of injury instead of disclosure of abuse to a medical professional. Finally, it proposes to open an 18-month revival window for claims currently time-barred under the prior discovery rule. Child USA, who has also evaluated every state based on their civil statute of limitation laws, gave New Mexico a Civil SOL Age Cap score of 1, on a 1-5 scale, where 5 is the highest. A score of 1 is defined as a civil SOL age cap of 25 years old and younger for survivors.
If you or someone you love was sexually abused or assaulted in New Mexico, contact us now. With new legislation in the works, these reform bills could allow those sexually abused as a minor in New Mexico to file a claim against their abuser, no matter how long ago the abuse occurred. Even if the abuser is deceased, you may still have a claim against the organization responsible. Don’t wait to file your claim!
Go to our main sexual abuse page to learn more about the process of filing a clergy sexual abuse case.
New Mexico Sexual Abuse Settlements & Jury Awards
In 2004, Rev. Michael J. Sheehan, then Archbishop of Santa Fe, issued a statement saying that 44 priests connected to the Santa Fe Diocese had been credibly accused of sexual abuse and resulted in the diocese paying over $30,800,000 in settlements. Only about $7,700,000 of that money came from the diocese itself, the rest was covered by insurance.
June 2016 – The Diocese of Gallup was ordered to pay $21,000,000 to 56 survivors of sexual abuse by a federal bankruptcy judge and brought an end to the three-year case. Some of the abuse occurred as long as 60 years ago. Rev. Clement Hageman was named as an abuser, but the Diocese said it was not going to release the records surrounding the abuse to protect the names of other victims who did not wish to have their names be made public.
*The settlements listed above are offered for educational purposes only and do not guarantee any future outcome or settlement. Each legal situation is different, and past performance does not guarantee future results. We do not maintain that is a full list of all settlements in the state of New Mexico but merely a grouping of those we choose to share on our website. Please contact us if you would like additional settlements included or if you notice any inaccuracies on our site. We strive to provide our viewers the most up to date and accurate information as possible.
New Mexico Catholic Church Clergy Credibly Accused Lists
The Diocese of Santa Fe and the Diocese of Las Cruces has released the following list of priests, deemed to have been credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor.
Diocese of Santa Fe Credibly Accused Priest List
|wdt_ID||Last Name||First Name||Clergy Status||Diocese/Order||Assignments|
|1||Abeywickrema||Augustine||Deceased||Santa Fe||St. Bernadette-Albuquerque; 1963 to 1971, Our Lady of Fatima-Albuquerque; 1971 to 1977, Sacred Heart-Albuquerque; 1977 to 1984, IHM-Los Alamos; 1984 to 1987, St. Anne-Tucumcari; 1987 to 1990, Queen of Heaven-Albuquerque; 1990 to 1991, St. Alice-Mountainair; 1991 to 1993|
|2||Archuleta||Marvin||Living||Sons of the Holy Family (SF)||Holy Cross-Santa Cruz; 1970 to 1978, Ministry outside ASF; 1978-1987, Holy Family-Chimayo; Sept. 1987-1989, St. Therese-Albuquerque; 1989-1991, Holy Cross-Santa Cruz; 1991-1994|
|3||Baca||Paul||Deceased||Santa Fe||Immaculate Conception-Las Vegas; 1949 to 1950, St. Joseph-Anton Chico; 1950 to 1955, San Juan Nepomuceno-El Rito; 1955 to 1958, Our Lady of Sorrows-Bernalillo; 1958 to 1965, Queen of Heaven-Albuquerque; 1965 to 1979, Risen Savior-Albuquerque; 1979 to 2000|
|4||Bean||Donald||Deceased||Santa Fe||San Miguel-Socorro; 1963 to 1965, Queen of Heaven; 1965 to 1968, San Miguel-Socorro; 1968 to 1969, Chaplain-University of Albuquerque; 1969|
|5||Bierman||Earl||Deceased||Covington||Our Lady of Fatima-Albuquerque; 1961 to 1962, IHM Seminary-Santa Fe; 1962 to 1965|
|6||Bissonnette||Bernard||Deceased||Norwich||St. Anne-Santa Fe; 1966 to 1968, St. Alice-Mountainair; 1968 to 1973, Newman Center-Las Vegas; 1973 to 1975, Leave of absence; 1975 to 1976, Chaplain-NM Boys School-Springer; 1976 to 1979, St. Bernadette-Albuquerque; 1979 to 1981|
|7||Blea||Rudy||Living||Santa Fe||In Formation for the Archdiocese of Santa Fe 1969 to 1976|
|8||Bombardier||Wilfred||Deceased||Blessed Sacrament Fathers (SSS)||Blessed Sacrament-Albuquerque; 1954 to 1958, St. Charles Borromeo-Albuquerque; 1966 to 1970|
|9||Brett||Laurence||Deceased||Bridgeport||St. Charles Borromeo-Albuquerque; 1966, St. Therese-Albuquerque; 1966 to 1967|
|10||Brouseau||Luis||Living||Christian Brothers (FSC)||St. Michael High School-Santa Fe; 1963-1967 and 1969-1971|
Diocese of Las Cruces Credibly Accused Priest List
|wdt_ID||Last Name||First Name||Clergy Status||Diocese/ Order||Other Diocese/ Religious Associations||Location(s) of Alleged Abuse||Year(s) of Alleged Incident(s)||Abuse First Reported||Assignments|
|1||Anderson||Joseph K.||Died: 2002||OSB||Diocese of Las Cruces||1994-1997||2018||Holy Family-Deming; 1994-1997|
|2||Barfield||Daniel||Died: 2003||Las Cruces||Diocese of Las Cruces||1990||2012||Holy Family-Deming; 1985-1990, St. Jude-Alamogordo; 1990-2003|
|3||Bentley||David||Removed: 2002||Albany||Albany||Diocese of Las Cruces||1998-2000||2018||Holy Family-Deming; 1998-2002|
|4||Bissonnette||Bernard||Laicized: 2005, Died: 2008||Las Cruces||Santa Fe, Norwich, Duluth||Diocese of Las Cruces||1983||1989||St. Eleanor-Ruidoso; 1981-1984, IHM-Las Cruces; 1984, St. Jude-Alamogordo; 1985-1987, Our Lady of Perpetual Help-Truth or Consequences; 1988-1992|
|5||Chavez||Albert||Died: 1996||Las Cruces||Santa Fe||Diocese of Las Cruces||1984||2002||Our Lady of Perpetual Help-Truth or Consequences; 1977-1983, Our Lady of Purification; 1984-1985|
|6||Diamond||Wilfred||Died: 1995||Las Cruces||Diocese of Las Cruces||1987-88||2013||St. Jude-Alamogordo; 1965-1988|
|7||Lynch||Richard||Removed: 1992, Died: 2017||Las Cruces||Diocese of Las Cruces||1982||1992||San Jose-La Mesa; 1967-1970, Our Lady of Health-Las Cruces; 1975-1977, Immaculate Conception-Alamogordo; 1977-1978, Our Lady of Purification-Doña ; 1981-1983, Ana St. Thomas Aquinas-Lovington; 1983-1985, Our Lady of Perpetual Help-Truth or Consequences; 1985-1987, St. Vincent de Paul-Silver City; 1987-1990, Our Lady of Purification-Doña Ana; 1990-1992|
|8||McAllister||Forest||Died: 1997||Las Cruces||Diocese of Las Cruces||1982||2019||St. John the Baptist-Roswell; 1978-1983, St. Peter-Roswell; 1984-1986|
|9||Martin||Phillip||Santa Fe||Santa Fe||Diocese of Las Cruces||1984||2002||NMMI-Roswell; 1983-1984|
|10||Primavera||Bruno||Died: 2006||Las Cruces||Norwich, Hartford||Diocese of Las Cruces||1990||1990, 2016||NMMI-Roswell; 1989-1990, Assumption-Roswell; 1989-1990|
Click to view our larger list of accused priests. Here you can search by accused clergy first and last name, Parish/Diocese, city and state, and even by the years of their assignments.