Former Church Employee Sues OC Priest, Diocese, Alleging Sexual Assault Following Complaints By Other Victims Years Earlier
Diocese Sent Father Alex Kim To Different Posts and to Treatment, Lawsuit Says
Orange County, Calif. – A former church employee sued the Diocese of Orange and a high-ranking priest today, alleging the church documented a history of sexual abuse by the priest before he accosted her last year.
The sexual assault and harassment complaint – against the Roman Catholic Bishop of Orange (aka Diocese of Orange), Father Alex Kim, and St. John Neumann Church of Irvine – alleges that, in response to previous and similar complaints spanning at least a decade, the church ineffectively moved Father Kim to different posts and, in 2012, to a treatment center for sexually deviant priests before he sexually assaulted the latest victim between April and September 2016.
“Father Kim had a long history of exploiting female parishioners. The Diocese knew it. Yet, because Father Kim was incredibly popular and a talented fundraiser, the Diocese turned a blind eye to his misconduct,” said plaintiff attorney David Ring of Los Angeles law firm Taylor & Ring, which specializes in suing major institutions on behalf of victims of sexual assault.
The victim met Father Kim in the mid-1990s when she was 10 years old and a parishioner at another parish. Father Kim befriended the family, giving religious counsel to the victim that helped motivate her to join a convent in Korea. A year later, she returned home and continued counsel with Father Kim. In 2015, after the Orange County Bishop assigned Father Kim to St. John Neumann Church, he hired the plaintiff as his assistant.
“The lawsuit will reveal the full story of the Diocese’s failure to protect female parishioners from an abusive priest,” Ring said.
David M. Ring, 310-209-4100, Ring@TaylorRing.com