HOBBS, N.M. (AP) – The Roman Catholic Diocese of Las Cruces is facing a lawsuit by the alleged sexual abuse victim of a former southeastern New Mexico pastor who is facing criminal charges.
The Hobbs News-Sun reports a 10-page lawsuit filed last week against the diocese and St. Helena Parish in Hobbs, New Mexico, says the diocese facilitated sexual battery and assisted Rev. Ricardo Bauza in evading authorities.
According to a 15-page criminal complaint filed in November, Bauza got into a shower with an adult male, and washed the victim’s body with a loofah in the church rectory.
Hobbs Police Chief Chris McCall says Bauza has not been arrested on the warrant, which remains outstanding.
Fr. Enrique Lopez is chancellor of the Diocese of Las Cruces.
He says the diocese couldn’t comment on pending litigation.