Miami archdiocese faces 2nd abuse suit
Madeline Baro Diaz | South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Posted November 29, 2006
MIAMI -- A Sunrise man filed a lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Miamion Tuesday, saying a priest abused him more than 20 years ago when hewas an altar boy at a South Miami-Dade church.
John Kleer, 35, said he came forward after another man sued thearchdiocese in October, accusing the same priest, the Rev. GustavoMiyares, of abusing him after they met at a Catholic summer camp inBoynton Beach. Miyares, longtime pastor of Immaculate ConceptionCatholic Church in Hialeah, resigned after the allegations came tolight and can no longer serve as a priest.
"It literally jolted me," Kleer said. "I felt I could come forward and it wasn't just me against a priest."
The suit filed in Miami-Dade court accuses the archdiocese ofconcealing information about Miyares' abuse of children and seeks morethan $10 million in damages.
The archdiocese released astatement saying that before the summer-camp accusations were made,"there were no prior allegations or information to indicate FatherMiyares did or would engage in any type of inappropriate or abusivebehavior."
Unlike many other plaintiffs in clergy abuse cases,Kleer did not file his suit anonymously. On Tuesday afternoon, Kleerand his attorney Jeffrey Herman held a news conference in front of St.Timothy Catholic Church, where Kleer said the abuse took place. Kleersaid he hoped that by going public with his story, he would encourageothers to do the same.
Kleer said the abuse began when he was 12 years old and lasted until he was about 15.
The archdiocese encouraged those who have been sexually abused bypriests to call its Victims Assistance Coordinator at 1-866-802-2873 aswell as law-enforcement authorities.
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