A former parishioner of a Roman Catholic church in Albuquerque filed suit Thursday against the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, claiming he was sexually abused as a child in the 1970s by an ex-priest now believed to be living in Morocco.
The lawsuit allegesthe Rev. Arthur Perrault sexually abused the boy several times between 1975 and 1977 at Our Lady of Assumption Parish as well as off church property.
Perrault was a top liturgist, wrote columns for the archdiocesan newsletter and taught ethics at St. Pius X High School in Albuquerque.
The lawsuit contends church officials were aware Perrault was abusing boys.
Church officials in Connecticut sent Perrault to Servants of the Paraclete, the now-closed Catholic treatment facility in Jemez Springs, in 1965 because of sexual misconduct, the lawsuit alleges. Church officials recommended he receive a permanent assignment in New Mexico, preferably at a school, the plaintiff’s lawyer Brad D. Hall says in the lawsuit.
Perrault later went to Canada and disappeared in 1992. The plaintiff in the case is not identified and is listed as John Doe 63.
Hall, who represents numerous alleged victims of sexual abuse by priests, told The Albuquerque Journal earlier this year Perrault was served with another lawsuit at an English language school in Morocco on April 22, prompting suspicion he is living abroad.
The unrelated case, which alleges Perrault sexually abused an altar boy in the early 1990s, is scheduled for trial next year.
The two cases are among dozens filed against the archdiocese in recent years alleging church officials covered up sexual abuse by clergy.