April 29, 2005

Alleged abuse victim: Tucson bishop 'lying'

Renew America

Matt C. Abbott
April 29, 2005

In July 2004, attorney Ivan Abrams of Tucson, Ariz., filed a federal lawsuit on behalf a former seminarian and alleged abuse victim, 45-year-old Philip A. Hower. The suit, which is still pending, was filed under provisions of the RICO statute, used primarily to fight organized crime.

In the lawsuit, Hower alleges that he was blocked from being ordained a priest because he had blown the whistle on sexual misconduct of priests with whom he resided while preparing for his ordination.

Also according to the lawsuit: In 1987, Hower alleges that Father Richard E. Troutman, then-pastor of St. Francis of Assisi parish in Yuma and currently pastor and vicar at St. Odilia's parish in Tucson, asked Hower to perform a sexual act on him (Troutman) in the hospital where Troutman was being treated for alcohol abuse. Hower had been visiting Troutman in a pastoral capacity and was shocked by Troutman's scandalous request.

Hower also alleges that, in 1988, he was sexually assaulted by Father Steven Stencil, the then-vocations director for the Diocese of Tucson. (Stencil was suspended from the priesthood in 2001 after an unrelated allegation of sexual misconduct was lodged against him by a 17-year-old male student.)

Posted by kshaw at April 29, 2005 04:57 PM