AT THE FOREFRONT: OUR ATTORNEYS GIVE ROADMAP FOR CHARGING THE CATHOLIC CHURCH WITH RACKETEERING
Two years ago, Paul Linnenburger, a partner with Lane + Linnenburger + Lane, met with a gentleman who had been abused by Father David Holley in Alamogordo. Together, the two set out on what would become a ground-breaking quest for answers and accountability. The duo successfully sued the New Mexico Attorney General for the release of tens of thousands of pages of files on priest sex abusers gathered from New Mexico churches, gaining transparency into an organization that had relied on secrecy for too long.
The duo also sought a new way to hold the Church accountable through racketeering claims. In 2020, Linnenburger filed a lawsuit on behalf of the survivor laying out claims for racketeering against the Diocese of Worcester, who sent Fr. Holley to New Mexico, the Diocese of El Paso, the Diocese of Las Cruces and the Servants of the Paraclete, a Church organization that accepted Holley into New Mexico. The Church had faced racketeering lawsuits before across the country, but they were always dismissed.
Two years later, that lawsuit remains pending and is set for trial this summer. Based on the claims formulated and outlined by Lane + Linnenburger + Lane partner Linnenburger, this week an Albuquerque judge denied the Church's bid to dismiss the racketeering claim. We are proud to stand with survivors and look forward to this continued pursuit of accountability for those organizations that allow sex abuse to occur.
See the full release below.