MIAMI - The Archdiocese of Miami responded after another lawsuit was filed against one of its priest, accusing him of sexually abusing a teenager nearly 20 years ago.
Jeff Herman filed the lawsuit, which named Father Rolando Garcia, the pastor at St. Agatha Catholic Church, on Tuesday.
According to the complaint, Tony Simmons, referred to as John Doe No. 95 in the lawsuit, met Garcia at Little Flower Hollywood Church in 1994. Garcia approached Simmons, who was 16 at the time and had just been thrown out of his home.
The complaint alleges Garcia took Simmons to a movie and sexually abused him on the way home. The abuse continued in the ensuing years.
"So I go over to his office and he performed oral sex on me in his office in the church," said Simmons, who is now 34 years old.
Simmons said the abuse stopped when he joined the U.S. Army in 2003.
"He controlled my job, he controlled where I lived. I was trapped. If I didn't do it, then I don't have a job and if I don't have a job, nowhere to live," said Simmons.
"The sex abuse included oral sex, it included sodomy, and it went on for years," said Herman. "Over a hundred times, this young man was sexually abused by Father Garcia."
Garcia continues to be the pastor at St. Agatha Catholic Church despite some calls for his dismissal or at least a move to a parish without a school.
"I'm not judging the father, I'm not saying, 'Oh, I'm convinced he's guilty.' That's not my job," said Donna Vanderdijs. "But, I'm saying if there's any question, any question at all, he should not be interacting with children, at all."
The Archdiocese of Miami issued a statement in response to the lawsuit, saying in part: "Mr. Herman has filed several lawsuits against the Archdiocese of Miami involving Fr. Garcia, and yet to date, none have been proven credible."
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