Tag: Miami Sexual Abuse Attorney

Joseph Succar Horowitz Law

Massage Therapist Joseph Succar Restricted by Dept. of Health Due to Sexual Assault

On February 16, 2021, the Florida Department of Health issued an Emergency Order restricting the massage therapy license of  Joseph Succar, a massage therapist from Miami, on account of alleged sexual misconduct at Vitality Massage Studio located at 8870 SW 129th Terrace, Miami, FL 33176. The Order prohibits Joseph Succar from practicing massage therapy on female clients in the State of Florida.  The Emergency Order was entered in response to a sexual misconduct complaint by a female client.

Joseph Succar has been a licensed massage therapist in Florida since May 2018. Succar was employed  at a Vitality Massage Studio but was terminated in late 2020 due to speaking unprofessionally to Vitality clients.  Nevertheless, on November 11, 2020, an employee at another massage establishment reportedly referred a female client to Mr. Succar as she was desperately trying to find a therapist that day. Succar reached out to the owners of Vitality Massage to see if he could use their facility to perform the massage despite his prior termination. Vitality agreed to the arrangement, and the client came to the studio for an 8:30 p.m. appointment.

Before the massage, Succar provided client with a bath towel to drape herself.  The towel was a hand towel and only covered her buttocks. During the massage, Succar allegedly spoke to the client about sexual encounters with women which the client thought was odd. He them proceeded to perform massage and midway though, she was asked to roll over on her back. The small towel only covered her genital area, leaving her breasts exposed. Succar allegedly grazed her nipples multiple times during the massage. According to the Order, Succar then asked client to lay in a yoga-style stretch position which exposed the client’s vagina. Succar even mentioned that he wouldn’t look at her vagina but she noticed him staring at her vagina which made her uncomfortable enough to end the stretch. After the massage, Succar informed client that he only accepted cash for the services and followed her to an ATM machine nearby.  She was afraid that he would be violent if she said no. After paying Succar, the client began to leave but Succar insisted on following her home. She told Succar no, but he followed her several blocks before she screamed “No.”   The next day, the client called Vitality Massage to report Succar’s behavior. The owners told her that he was terminated a few weeks prior and that they thought he was using studio to perform a massage on a friend. 

When clients schedule a massage, it is to relax and escape the stresses of life. They trust that the massage therapists employed at the spa are carefully vetted and safe to engage with the public. It is unacceptable, immoral and unlawful for any employee to touch a client in a sexual manner.  Clients of massage therapists are placed in isolated, vulnerable settings where they can be subject to abuse by their massage therapists. Due to the potential for abuse that is inherent under those circumstances, massage therapists must possess good judgment and good moral character in order to safely practice massage therapy.

Horowitz Law has filed numerous sexual assault lawsuits against massage therapists on behalf of clients who were inappropriately touched at various franchises, spas and resorts. If you have been a victim of sexual assault or sexual battery during a massage, or if you know someone who has, please contact our law firm at (888) 283-9922 or send an e-mail to sexual abuse lawyer Adam Horowitz for massage clients at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com for a free consultation.

Victorio Donato sexual Horowitz Law

Victorio Donato, Massage Envy Employee From Miami, Disciplined for Sexual Misconduct

On February 17, 2021, the Florida Department of Health issued an Emergency Order restricting the massage therapy license of Victorio Donato, a massage therapist from Miami, on account of alleged sexual misconduct at Massage Envy in the West Kendall franchise.  The Order prohibits Victorio Donato from practicing massage therapy on female clients in the State of Florida.  The Emergency Order was entered in response to a sexual misconduct complaint by a female client. 

Victorio R. Donato, has been a licensed massage therapist in Florida since July 2018.  He also markets himself as “Dr. Spa” and appears to have been working at Bellisima Magic Touch Spa (14261 SW 120th St #114, Miami, FL 33186 and 815 NW 57th Ave #207 Miami, FL 33126) since his departure from Massage Envy.

On November 22, 2020, Victorio Donato was employed at a Massage Envy location in Miami (13660 SW 88th Street Miami, FL 33186 (Carter Square). On that day, Donato provided a massage on a female client. During the massage, Donato used a percussion vibrator to massage the victim’s back and legs. While the client was lying face down, Mr. Donato allegedly removed the draping that covered her buttocks and let if fall to the floor, leaving her exposed. Donato reportedly separated the woman’s legs, massaged her inner thighs and inserted one or more his fingers into the client’s vagina and/or anus. According to the Order, Donato then flipped her on to her back and placed his mouth on the client’s vagina while inserting his fingers in her vagina. He then removed his finger and placed it in the client’s mouth. The Order then says Donato covered the client’s mouth while fondling her breasts and genitals. Donato allegedly placed his erect penis in the client’s hand. The client began to cry.

After leaving the spa, the client reportedly went to her car and cried. She noticed that there was a Miami Police Department (MPD) Officer in the parking lot and she reported Donato’s alleged misconduct.

When clients schedule a massage, it is to decompress from the stresses of life. They trust that the massage therapists employed at the spa are carefully vetted and safe to engage with the public. It is unacceptable, immoral and unlawful for any employee to touch a client in a sexual manner.  Clients of massage therapists are placed in isolated, vulnerable settings where they can be subject to abuse by their massage therapists. Due to the potential for abuse that is inherent under those circumstances, massage therapists must possess good judgment and good moral character in order to safely practice massage therapy.

Horowitz Law has filed numerous sexual assault lawsuits against massage therapists on behalf of clients who were inappropriately touched at Massage Envy franchises and other spas and resorts. If you have been a victim of sexual assault or sexual battery during a massage, or if you know someone who has, please contact our law firm at (888) 283-9922 or send an e-mail to sexual abuse lawyer Adam Horowitz for massage clients at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com for a free consultation.

Br. Kenneth Ward – Archdiocese of Miami

Brother Kenneth Ward

Archdiocese of Miami/Marist

Fr. Kenneth Ward Horowitz Law

Joined order: 1984

Left order: 2008

Assignment History:

  • 2000-2006: Edward Pace High School (Miami, FL)
  • Christopher Columbus Catholic High School (Westchester, FL)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Brother Kenneth Ward:

Br. Kenneth Ward is a former dean of students at Msgr. Edward Pace High School. In 2006, there were allegations reported to police against him. The Archdiocese of Miami says it did not learn of them until 2012. 

In a 2013 civil suit, three men in their mid-20s alleged that Ward abused them in the early 2000s. He worked at Pace from 2000-2006. Ward spent two more years at Christopher Columbus High in Westchester. A fourth man sued in 2013. 

Ward changed careers and studied to become a registered nurse, obtaining his state license in 2012 and worked in a psychiatric hospital. 

Ward’s current whereabouts are unknown.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Archdiocese of Miami in Florida. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Florida, contact our office today. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in Florida and nationwide. We can help. 

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

Fr. Bryan O. Walsh – Archdiocese of Miami

Father Bryan O. Walsh

Archdiocese of Miami

Fr. Bryan O. Walsh Horowitz Law
Ordained: 1954

Retired: 1996

Dead: 2001

Assignment History:

  • Unknown

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Bryan O. Walsh:

Fr. Bryan O. Walsh was born and trained in Ireland and ordained in the St. Augustine diocese. Walsh became a priest in Miami when the diocese was erected in 1958. He is an internationally known refugee and immigrant advocate, founder of Catholic Charities, and organizer of Cuba’s Pedro Pan Operation that helped over 15,000 Cuban children flee the island regime.

Walsh was accused in a 2006 complaint of sexual abuse of a 14-year-old boy in 1964. The accuser said he was abused at a provisional camp in Opa-Locka, Florida in 1964 when he was 14 and under the care of the Catholic Welfare Bureau. 

Very little is known of Walsh’s activities within the church as the Archdiocese of Miami has not released any information about Walsh’s assignment history.

Walsh died in 2001.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Archdiocese of Miami in Florida. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Florida, contact our office today. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in Florida and nationwide. We can help. 

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

Fr. Donald Walk – Archdiocese of Miami

Father Donald Walk

Archdiocese of Miami

Fr. Donald Walk Horowitz LawFr. Donald Walk Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1967

Assignment History:

  • St. James Church (North Miami, FL)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Donald Walk:

Fr. Donald Walk was named in a 2006 settlement with the Archdiocese of Miami as having abused a teenage boy in the 1970s-1980s. He had no particular assignment at the time and was still “absent on leave,” per the 1989 Catholic Directory. At one point, Walk was the chaplain of the Miami Dolphins. 

Walk was accused in a civil suit filed in the summer of 2007 of abusing a boy, ages 14-16, in the late 1970s. The suit says Walk took the boy out for ice cream, dinner, and a Miami Dolphins football practice to gain his trust. 

Another plaintiff filed suit in 2007 alleging abuse 1977-1982 starting when he was 13 years old. Walk allegedly sexually abused the former altar boy and brought him to Dolphin games, introducing him to team members.

As of 2007, Walk is retired and living in Venice, Florida. His current whereabouts are unknown.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Archdiocese of Miami in Florida. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Florida, contact our office today. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in Florida and nationwide. We can help. 

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

Fr. Edward Sokol – Archdiocese of Miami

Father Edward Sokol 

Archdiocese of Miami/Franciscan

Fr. Edward Sokol Horowitz Law
Ordained: 1987

Arrested: 2001

Dead: Unknown

Assignment History:

  • Chaminade-Madonna High School (Hollywood, FL)
  • St. James High School (Chester, PA)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Edward Sokol:

Fr. Edward Sokol professed vows as a Marianist in 1962 in the Province of New York. He ended up leaving the Order in 1986. Sokol was ordained for the Franciscans in 1987. 

In 2001, Sokol was arrested in a police sting after arranging over the internet to meet a 15-year-old boy for sex. He pled no contest to computer pornography later that year and the judge allowed him to continue running a group home for disabled adult males. In 2002, he was ordered to leave the home by social services. 

Sokol also worked in the Archdiocese of Boston, at Perkins School for the Blind, and in New Hampshire. In addition, Sokol briefly had privileges in Miami, Florida after Franciscans withdrew his privileges. 

In 2020, Sokol was included on the Marianists’ list of accused. 

It is noted that Sokol is deceased. However, the year he died is unknown.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Archdiocese of Miami in Florida. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Florida, contact our office today. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in Florida and nationwide. We can help. 

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

Fr. Steven Stencil – Archdiocese of Miami

Father Steven Stencil 

Archdiocese of Miami/Diocese of Tucson

 

Ordained: 1981

Retired: 2011

Assignment History:

  • 1981-1984: Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Parish (Miami, AZ)
  • 1984-1986: Sacred Heart Parish (Clifton, AZ)
  • 1986-1989: Vocations, Diocese of Tucson
  • 1989-1999: St. Anthony Parish (Casa Grande, AZ)
  • 1999-2001: St. Mark the Evangelist Parish (Tucson, AZ)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Steven Stencil:

According to media reports, in 2000, a teen-age boy complained to Church officials that Fr. Steven Stencil had groped him at a pool party in 1999 when he was 17 years old. The boy said Stencil, then pastor of St. Anthony Parish in Casa Grande, squeezed his penis for two to three seconds during horseplay in the pool.

The Diocese of Tucson learned of the incident a few weeks later, when the boy confided in another member of the clergy. Diocesan officials did their own investigation of the incident. According to a Diocese of Tucson’s spokesman’s deposition, after officials’ first interview with the boy, the spokesman said he was instructed to telephone the boy and ask him if what Stencil did in the swimming pool could have been accidental or unintentional. The boy said it could have been accidental, and the matter was dropped. Law enforcement authorities were not notified.

The boy said he felt uncomfortable previously, as well. In response to questioning, the spokesman said that the boy reported that Stencil asked him questions about sex during private confessions and that he placed his hand on the boy’s thigh during those confessions. 

The boy changed his mind in February 2002, shortly after the Diocese of Tucson settled 11 lawsuits that accused four local priests of sexually abusing 10 young men in the 1960s, ’70s, and ’80s. The incident was then reported to authorities.

In February 2001, Stencil was removed from the priesthood for violating the Diocese of Tucson’s policy forbidding priests from being in the company of minors overnight on two separate occasions.

In June 2002, Stencil’s name appeared on the Diocese of Tucson’s list of clergy credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors.

In July 2004, a former Catholic seminarian filed suit against the Diocese of Tucson, its bishops, and Bishop Wilton Gregory, the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops among other high-ranking American prelates. The suit alleges a pattern of racketeering activity exemplified by fraud and obstruction of justice.

The man’s complaint also documents an encounter he had with Stencil. According to the lawsuit, Stencil lured him into his rectory on the pretense that he needed his assistance. Once inside the rectory, the man claims, Stencil allegedly attempted to sexually assault him and told him that “it’s OK to be a homosexual”. The man said he was never a homosexual, and as a devout Catholic, he believed in and supported the promise of celibacy that every priest of the Roman rite is required to make upon ordination.

He claims he had to struggle to free himself from the vocations director, and once away from his would-be rapist, immediately left Stencil’s rectory for safer territory. He initially told no one about the alleged assault out of fear of Stencil’s power to have him expelled from the Diocese of Tucson. The lawsuit states that he had learned in Harrisburg “that revelation to priests or bishops with management authority of the acts of predator priests was futile and counter-productive”.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Archdiocese of Miami in Florida. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Florida, contact our office today. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in Florida and nationwide. We can help. 

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

Fr. Trevor Smith – Archdiocese of Miami

Father Trevor Smith

Archdiocese of Miami

Fr. Trevor Smith Horowitz LawOrdained: 1967

Retired: 2002

Assignment History:

  • 1968-1969: St. Clement (Fort Lauderdale, FL)
  • 1970: St. Timothy (Kendall, FL)
  • 1971-1972: St. Francis de Sales (Miami Beach, FL)
  • 1973: St. Vincent (Delray Beach, FL) 
  • 1974-1975: Epiphany (South Miami, FL)
  • 1976-1978: Mercy Hospital (Miami, FL)
  • 1980-1982: St. Patrick (Miami Beach, FL)
  • 1983-1986: St. Clement (Fort Lauderdale, FL)
  • 1987-1994: St. John’s Rehabilitation Hospital and Health Care Center (Lauderdale Lakes, FL)
  • 1995-2002: Villa Maria Nursing and Rehabilitation Center (North Miami, FL)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Trevor Smith:

Fr. Trevor Smith was accused in a 2002 civil suit of sexually abusing a 10-year-old boy in the late 1990s. Smith was the chaplain at Villa Maria Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in North Miami, Florida owned by the Archdiocese of Miami, where the boy’s grandmother was a resident. 

According to media reports, the abuse allegedly involved Smith taking the boy to a room in the nursing home and showing him nude photos. Then, Smith proceeded to force the boy to touch him and vice versa.

In 2003, there was a settlement for $500K. There were accusations of inappropriate contact with boys in the 1970s and Smith was sent for therapy. 

In 2004, Smith was charged with two counts of lewd and lascivious assault, and later in the year, he was convicted of abuse from 2002. Smith was sentenced to two years of house arrest and eight years probation.

As of 2004, Smith was retired and living in Pompano Beach, Florida. Smith’s current whereabouts are unknown.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Archdiocese of Miami in Florida. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Florida, contact our office today. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in Florida and nationwide. We can help. 

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

Fr. Harry Ringenberger – Archdiocese of Miami

Father Harry Ringenberger 

Archdiocese of Miami

 

Ordained: 1969

Assignment History:

  • St. Maximilian Kolbe Catholic Church (Pembroke Pines, FL)
  • St. Pius X Catholic Church (Fort Lauderdale, FL)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Harry Ringenberger:

Fr. Harry Ringenberger was accused in a lawsuit filed in 2015 of sexual assault of a 14-year-old boy in 1989 at St. Maximilian Kolbe Catholic Church in Pembroke Pines, Florida.

The allegations include that he was wrestling naked with the boy and that he abused other children similarly. The lawsuit claims the archdiocese was informed of the allegations in 1989 but allowed Ringenberger to work at another parish after sending him away for a year.

Very little is known of Ringenberger’s activities within the church as the Archdiocese of Miami has not released any information about Ringenberger’s assignment history.

Ringenberger’s current whereabouts are unknown.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Archdiocese of Miami in Florida. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Florida, contact our office today. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in Florida and nationwide. We can help. 

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

Fr. Cristobal de Jesus Puertas – Archdiocese of Miami

Father Cristobal de Jesus Puertas 

Archdiocese of Miami

 

Ordained: Unknown

Assignment History:

  • St. Agatha Catholic Church (Miami, Florida)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Cristobal de Jesus Puertas:

Fr. Cristobal de Jesus Puertas was named in a civil suit filed in 2010 claiming that he sexually abused a boy. The abuse took place between 2003 and 2004 in Puertas’ office, in his car, and in motels and parks where Puertas allegedly raped the minor.

The archdiocese reported in 2012 that there was a settlement involving Puertas, who was no longer a priest in the Archdiocese of Miami. His alleged victim said that Fr. Rolando Garcia knew about the abuse at the time and paid him to keep it quiet.

Very little is known of Puertas’ activities within the church as the Archdiocese of Miami has not released any information about Puertas’ assignment history nor the year he was ordained.

Puertas’ current whereabouts are unknown.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Archdiocese of Miami in Florida. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Florida, contact our office today. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in Florida and nationwide. We can help. 

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.