Tag: Phoenix sex abuse attorney

Fr. Donald Verhagen – Diocese of Phoenix

Fr. Donald Verhagen

Diocese of Phoenix

Donald Verhagen Horowitz Law

 

Ordained: 1945

Retired: 1996

Died: 2001

Assigned as Follows:

  • St. Nazianz Seminary (St. Nazianz, WI)
  • St. Mary’s High School (Lancaster, NY)
  • Marian High School (Mishawaka, IN)
  • St. Pius X Parish (Wauwatosa, WI)
  • St. Mark’s Parish (Phoenix, AZ)
  • Queen of Peace Parish (Mesa, AZ)
  • St. Rita in the Desert Parish (Vail, AZ)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Donald Verhagen:

According to media reports, In February of 2020, two new lawsuits were filed by two children who were sexually abused by Catholic priests almost 40 years prior in an Arizona Catholic parish, and claimed that the Diocese of Phoenix covered up the problem. According to the press conference that released the lawsuits, the alleged abuse dates back to the late 1970’s or early 1980’s. 

One of the lawsuits was filed by a woman who alleged that Father Donald R. Verhagen and Father James Bretl sexually abused her in the same parish, around the same time period. She did not want to share her real name, and is labeled as Jane Doe in the suit. Vergaen died in 2001, and Bretl died in 2010. Both of the priests were affiliated with the Society of the Divine Savior USA Province, a religious order based in Milwaukee that is also known as the Salvatorians. They were also both assigned to St. Mark’s Catholic School in Phoenix.

The Phoenix diocese declined to comment on the specific allegations in both lawsuits, but did say in a statement that Verhagen and Bretl had no prior allegations brought against them. They also released a statement that they are working in close cooperation with law enforcement, and will review the allegations against the two former-priests. No further information has been released. 

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Arizona, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix now have legal options to recover damages due to a compensation fund created for victims. Contact us at (954) 641-2100 (or toll-free at (888) 283-9922). Email us at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com 

Fr. James Bretl – Diocese of Phoenix

Fr. James Bretl

Diocese of Phoenix

Jame Bretl Horowitz Law

 

Ordained: 1965

Retired: 2006

Died: 2010

Assigned as Follows:

  • St. Theresa Church (Carson City, NV)
  • Chaplain at Arizona State Mental Hospital (Phoenix, AZ)
  • Director of Pastoral Care (Various locations in the Midwest)
  • St. Catherine Catholic Church (McMinneville, TN)
  • St. Gregory Catholic Church (Smithville, TN)
  • St. Mark’s Catholic School (Phoenix, AZ)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father James Bretl:

According to media reports, In February of 2020, two new lawsuits were filed by two children who were sexually abused by Catholic priests. The alleged abuse occured almost 40 years prior in an Arizona Catholic parish, and the victims also claimed that the Diocese of Phoenix covered up the problem. According to the press conference that released the lawsuits, the alleged abuse dates back to the late 1970’s or early 1980’s. 

One of the lawsuits was filed by a woman who alleged that Father Donald R. Verhagen and Father James Bretl sexually abused her in the same parish, around the same time period. She was under the age of 15 when the alleged abuse started. She did not want to share her real name, and is labeled as Jane Doe in the suit. Vergaen died in 2001, and Bretl died in 2010. Both of the priests were affiliated with the Society of the Divine Savior USA Province, a religious order based in Milwaukee that is also known as the Salvatorians. They were also both assigned to St. Mark’s Catholic School in Phoenix during the 1970’s and 1980’s. 

The Phoenix diocese declined to comment on the specific allegations in both lawsuits, but did say in a statement that both Verhagen and Bretl had no prior allegations brought against them. They also released a statement that they are working in close cooperation with law enforcement, and will review the allegations against the two former-priests. No further information has been released. 

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Arizona, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix now have legal options to recover damages due to a compensation fund created for victims. Contact us at (954) 641-2100 (or toll-free at (888) 283-9922). Email us at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com 

Fr. Mark Lehman – Diocese of Phoenix

Father Mark Lehman

Diocese of Phoenix

Mark Lehman Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1988

Placed on Leave: 1990

Laicized: 2006 

Died:  2019

Assigned as Follows:

  • St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic School (Phoenix, AZ)
  • St. Timothy’s Parish (Mesa, AZ)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Mark Lehman: 

Father Mark Lehman was first placed on leave from ministry in 1990, two years into his priesthood, after allegations of sexual abuse were made against him. Two years later, he was charged and sentenced to 10 years in prison for fondling a young girl. The sentence also carried lifetime parole for the abuse of three additional girls and one boy who were identified during the criminal proceedings.

Lehman was released from prison in 2002.  According to news reports, the Diocese of Phoenix provided him with financial support while he was in prison and gave him money and other benefits at the time he was released as well.

In 2005, a new civil suit was filed and alleged abuse of a minor in 1985.

Lehman was laicized by the Vatican in 2006.

Lehman died in 2019.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Arizona, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix now have legal options to recover damages due to a change in Arizona laws. Contact us toll-free at (888) 283-9922 or email us at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com today.

Fr. Karl LeClaire – Diocese of Phoenix

Father Karl LeClaire

(Salvatorian Fathers)

Diocese of Phoenix

Karl LeClaire Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1986

Placed on Leave: 2001

Assigned as Follows:

  • Queen of Peace Catholic Church (Mesa, AZ)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Karl LeClaire: 

In January of 2005, Father Karl LeClaire was sentenced to 1 year in jail and 3 years of probation after pleading guilty to sexually motivated aggravated assault. According to the indictment, the original charges stemmed from the repeated abuse of a boy starting in 1996.  The victim claimed the abuse went on for 7 years and started when he was only 13-years-old. He also said that LeClaire would take him on cruises and buy him nice things like a computer, clothing and a stereo.  LeClaire would often take the boy out of class at Queen of Peace grammar school in Mesa to abuse him. 

A second victim came forward during the criminal case and also claimed that LeClaire abused him as a minor at Queen of Peace starting in approximately 1999.

LeClaire has completed his sentence and is believed to be residing in Apache Junction, Arizona.  He is not a registered sex offender.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Arizona, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix now have legal options to recover damages due to a change in Arizona laws. Contact us toll-free at (888) 283-9922 or email us at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com today.

 

 

 

Fr. Paul LeBrun – Diocese of Phoenix

Father Paul LeBrun

(Holy Cross)

Diocese of Phoenix 

Paul LeBrun Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1983

Resigned: 1999

Assigned as Follows: 

  • 1983-1986 Little Flower Church (Phoenix, AZ)
  • 1986-1991 St. John Vianney Church (Goodyear, AZ)
  • 1991-1993 Blessed Sacrament (Scottsdale, AZ)
  • 1993-1999 Little Flower Parish (Phoenix, AZ)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Paul LeBrun:

According to a list published by the Diocese of Phoenix, Father Paul LeBrun was the subject of only one allegation of sexual misconduct in his career as a priest.

According to a media report, in 2002, four different South Bend (Indiana) men told police that LeBrun had sexually abused them when they were minors, but no charges could be brought due to the expiration of the statute of limitations in Indiana.

However, the report caught the attention of other victims who came forward in Arizona. LeBrun was charged criminally in Arizona with sexually abusing multiple boys between the ages of 11 and 13 while assigned as a priest in Arizona.  In 2006, he was sentenced to 111 years in prison for abusing Arizona boys between 1986 and 1991.  

LeBrun was laicized by the Vatican in 2008.

He has been the subject of at least five lawsuits against the Diocese of Phoenix, filed by victims of his sexual abuse. In addition to the list of credibly accused priests published by the Diocese of Phoenix, LeBrun’s name appears on the Ft. Wayne-South Bend Diocese’s list of credibly accused priests, and on the Holy Cross Order’s list as well.

LeBrun is incarcerated in Arizona, and will likely never be released.  His projected release date is 2114.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Arizona, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix now have legal options to recover damages due to a change in Arizona laws. Contact us toll-free at (888) 283-9922 or email us at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com today.

 

Fr. Sung Lam – Diocese of Phoenix

Father Sung Lam

Diocese of Phoenix

Ordained: 1966 

Assigned as Follows:

  • Vietnamese Catholic Apostolate (Phoenix, AZ)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Sung Lam: 

In 2003, the Diocese of Phoenix released a list of more than a dozen priests who had been accused of sexual misconduct with minors.  For the first time, Father Sung Lam was publicly identified as a priest who was the subject of at least one credible allegation of abuse.

Originally a priest of Cambodia, Father Sung Lam was accused in 1993 of  “lewd and lascivious acts,” but was not prosecuted by law enforcement. According to the Diocese, Father Lam left Phoenix in 1994 after the allegations came out. No further information was released about the victim or where the incidents took place. 

Lam’s current whereabouts are not known but he is presumed to be back in Cambodia.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Arizona, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix now have legal options to recover damages due to a change in Arizona laws. Contact us toll-free at (888) 283-9922 or email us at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com today.

 

Fr. Louis Ladenburger – Diocese of Phoenix

Father Louis Ladenburger

(Franciscan Friars)

Diocese of Phoenix 

Louis Ladenburger Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1963

Placed on Leave: 1993

Removed from ministry: 1996

Assigned as Follows: 

  • 1964-1965 St. Mary of the Assumption (Stockton, CA)
  • 1964-1965 St. Benedict of the Moor Center (Stockton, CA)
  • 1965-1967 St. Mary’s High School (Phoenix, AZ)
  • 1967-1968 Salem Catholic High School (Salem, OR)
  • 1968-1971 Holy Cross Retreat House (Mesilla Park, NM) 
  • 1972-1974 St. Mary of the Assumption (Stockton, CA)
  • 1972-1974 St. Benedict the Moor Center (Stockton, CA)
  • 1975-1979 Mary Queen of Heaven (Sprague, WA)
  • 1980-1984 St. George’s (Seattle, WA)
  • 1984-1985 St. Francis of Assisi (Sacramento, CA)
  • 1985-1988 St. John’s (Overton, NV)
  • 1988-1989 Christ the King Church (Reno, NV)
  • 1990-1992 Franciscan Renewal Center (Scottsdale, AZ)
  • 1992-1993 St. Mary’s Basilica (Phoenix, AZ)
  • 1992-1993 St. Joan of Arc (Phoenix, AZ)
  • 1993 St. Mary’s High School (Phoenix, AZ)
  • 2006-2007 Elk Mountain Academy (Clark Fork, ID)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Louis Ladenburger:

Father Louis Ladenburger was a Franciscan Friar who also worked as a licensed marriage and family counselor and a chemical dependency therapist. Ladenburger was “treated” twice in the 1980’s for what the Franciscans called “inappropriate professional behavior and relationships” with his patients. He was allowed to return to ministry both times.

In 1993, Ladenburger’s Order restricted his clergy privileges after a third psychological evaluation prompted by a “heightened concern and new awareness of abuse issues,” according to documents in his file. He later refused the restrictions and went on a leave of absence.

Ladenburger left the Order in 1996, according to published reports.

In September of 2006, Ladenburger was hired as a therapist by an Idaho school for high-risk teenage boys. A year later, he was fired after two boys accused him of sexual abuse, according to news reports. He admitted to abusing one of the boys and was arrested and charged with three counts of sexual battery of a minor. In a plea agreement, he pled guilty to one count of felony sexual misconduct and was sentenced up to five years in prison.

Ladenburger’s name appears on the Seattle Archdiocese list of accused clergy as well as Las Cruces Diocese’s list.  The Diocese of Las Vegas and the Santa Barbara Province of Franciscans Friars also included him on their respective lists.

A new accusation was made in May of 2018, alleging sexual abuse of a minor in 1973. It was reported to the Diocese of Stockton and stemmed from Landenburger’s time at St. Mary of the Assumption. 

Ladenburger is now believed to be living in Bakersfield, CA. 

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Arizona, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix now have legal options to recover damages due to a change in Arizona laws. Contact us toll-free at (888) 283-9922 or email us at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com today.

 

Fr. Marvin Knighton – Diocese of Phoenix

Father Marvin Knighton

Diocese of Phoenix 

Marvin Knighton Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1975

Removed: 2011

Assigned as Follows: 

  • 1975-1976 St. Anne’s (Milwaukee, WI) 
  • 1976-1987 St. Pius X High School (Milwaukee, WI)
  • 1987-1988 Absent on Leave
  • 1988-1991 St. Pius High School (Milwaukee, WI)
  • 1992-1994 Mount Mary’s College (Milwaukee, WI)
  • 1994-1995 Absent on Leave 
  • 1995-1997 St. Martin de Porres (Milwaukee, WI) 
  • 1995-1997 All Saints (Milwaukee, WI)
  • 1998-2000 Dominican High School (Whitefish Bay, WI)
  • 2000-2001 St. Mary’s High School (Phoenix, AZ)
  • 2001-2002 Archdiocesan Office for Schools and Child Youth Ministry (Milwaukee, WI) 
  • 2002-2003 Absent on Leave

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Marvin Knighton: 

In 1993, a man had confronted Father Marvin Knighton, a priest from Milwaukee, with allegations that the priest sexually abused the man’s high school aged son from 1988 to 1989. Because Knighton reported the allegations to the Milwaukee Archdiocese himself, nothing was done because there was no “formal complaint” made by the victim or his family.  

Knighton remained in ministry in Wisconsin until a brief stint at a Phoenix area high school.  The reasons for the temporary re-assignment to a new Diocese are not clear, but they are definitely a “red flag” that would merit additional investigation in a lawsuit.  Additional “red flags” appear in his assignment history, including his time spent on leave. 

In 2002, the 1993 victim personally went to the Archdiocese and renewed the allegations against Knighton. Again, nothing was done.  However, after a second person alleged past sexual abuse by Knighton, the priest was removed from ministry and the information was forwarded to the District Attorney in Wisconsin.  Though he was charged criminally for abusing the boys, Knighton was eventually acquitted by a jury in 2003.

Despite the outcome in court, the Archdiocesan Review Board upheld the allegations and said there was “preponderance of evidence” that Knighton engaged in child sex abuse and indicated he would never return to public ministry.

In 2004, yet another person came forward with allegations against Marvin Knighton.

Knighton was laicized in 2011. At the time of his laicization, he claimed that the Milwaukee Diocese owed him $450,000 in past wages and benefits that should have been paid during his suspension.

He is believed to be residing in Phoenix, Arizona.  During the course of his ministry, and starting in 1988, Knighton adopted several boys and raised them as a single father and priest in active ministry. 

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Arizona, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix now have legal options to recover damages due to a change in Arizona laws. Contact us toll-free at (888) 283-9922 or email us at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com today.

Fr. Edward Henriques – Diocese of Phoenix

Father Edward Henriques

Diocese of Phoenix 

Ordained: 1946

Left priesthood: 1965

Assigned as Follows: 

  • 1946 – 1956 St. John’s (Laveen, AZ)
  • 1956 – 1958 St. Francis (Sacramento, CA) 
  • 1958 – 1960 Mission Band from Stockton & San Francisco 
  • 1960 – 1961 Serra Retreat (Malibu, CA) 
  •  1961 – 1962 Poverello Retreat (San Fernando, CA)
  • 1962 – 1963 St. Joseph’s (Los Angeles, CA) 
  • 1963 – 1964 St. Boniface (San Francisco, CA) 

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Edward Henriques: 

In 2008, Father Edward Henriques was named in a civil lawsuit as an alleged abuser of a 6-year-old girl in Santa Barbara, California, in 1964. The victim said a Franciscan brother would force her to strip in front of him and repeatedly molested her while Henriques watched.

Edward Henriques left the priesthood in 1965 and has since been listed as deceased. His name appeared on the Franciscan Friars, Province of St. Barbara, list of credibly accused clergy published in May of 2019.

According to the Province’s lists, Henriques was the subject of multiple allegations of abuse (which were deemed credible after an internal investigation).  The allegations related to abuse between 1949 and 1963. Notably, the Order admits that the first allegation of abuse came to the attention of Franciscan officials in 1949, while Henriques was working in Arizona. 

Henriques left the Franciscan Order in 1965, according to the Province. He is believed to be deceased.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Arizona, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix now have legal options to recover damages due to a change in Arizona laws. Contact us toll-free at (888) 283-9922 or email us at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com today.

 

Fr. Joseph Henn – Diocese of Phoenix

Father Joseph Henn

(Salvatorian)

Diocese of Phoenix 

Joseph Henn Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1978

Removed from ministry: 2006

Assigned in the Diocese of Phoenix as Follows: 

  • 1978-1982 St. Mark Parish (Phoenix, AZ)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Joseph Henn:

Father Joseph John Henn was assigned by the Salvatorian order to serve at St. Mark parish in Phoenix from 1978 to 1982. He was later indicted on sexual abuse charges in 2003 for serially molesting an altar boy between the ages of 12 and 15.

Henn was eventually arrested in Italy in 2005, but escaped police custody before he could be extradited to the United States to stand trial. In May 2019, he was re-arrested by Italian police and extradited.  The criminal matter is now ongoing in the Arizona courts. 

As of July 2019, another man came forward with allegations against Father Joseph Henn of molestation. The victim attend St. Mark’s Catholic School at the time of the alleged abuse. Father Henn was his priest and sexual education teacher while assigned to the school. The man claimed that the abuse began when he was only in sixth grade. The alleged victim said he reported the abuse to the church about ten years later in 1991, but Henn wasn’t arrested and indicted on charges of abusing children until 2003.

In 2006, the Church defendants settled a civil lawsuit with the victim’s family.  

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Arizona, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix now have legal options to recover damages due to a change in Arizona laws. Contact us toll-free at (888) 283-9922 or email us at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com today.