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Metro Man Sues Priests Over Alleged Sexual Abuse

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Two Catholic priests face yet another sexual abuse lawsuit after a metro man claims that the men sexually abused him while he attended a Kansas City-area Catholic parish.

Gil Padillo, 35, says that he was in 8th grade when Fathers Joseph Hart and Thomas O'Brien molested him several times. He says that he reported the alleged abuse, but nothing was done to either protect him or investigate the claims.

"I went to my principal in 8th grade and told her what happened," said Padilla on Thursday. "I was not believed and she sent me back to class. I had no where to go. I was shut out of the world helpless, I felt alone and ignored."

Members of the support group Survivors Network for Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) stood with Padilla as he spoke to the media on Thursday.

Another man, Jon David Couzens, is also suing the same priests for molesting him and a friend, who later committed suicide.

In a response, the Kansas City-St. Joseph Diocese says that it has an ombudsman and victim's advocate who investigate all claims of abuse thoroughly, and make sure victims get counseling and healing.

Kansas City-St. Joseph Diocese Response to Thursday's Lawsuit (PDF)

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