A woman in the American state of Virginia who claims a priest sexually abused her while meeting with her to perform exorcisms is suing the Arlington Diocese and pro-life group he formerly headed for $5.3 million, according to a Catholic News Service report published in NCR Online.
The law suit, filed on June 19 on behalf of a woman identified only as Jane Doe, claims Father Thomas Euteneuer, former director of Human Life International, abused her between April 2008 and September 2010.
In a statement on July 3, Human Life International said Father Euteneuer "has already admitted to engaging in highly inappropriate and gravely sinful conduct with a young adult woman" but that "such behaviour was never within the scope of his employment" with Human Life International.
"We intend to vigorously defend HLI from the false accusations made against it and we are undeterred in pursuing HLI's mission to build a culture of life and protect the unborn," the statement added.
The priest, who resigned from his position with Human Life International in August 2010, also returned that year to his home Diocese of Palm Beach, Florida.
In the suit, the woman said she signed an "agreement for spiritual help" with the priest in 2008 because she believed she was "in desperate need of the rite of exorcism," a ritual of evicting demons or other entities from a person or place believed to be possessed.
Father Euteneuer has said his "violations of chastity were limited to one person only, an adult woman." He also said he never "targeted vulnerable women or otherwise sought them out for spiritual direction."
FULL STORY US woman sues priest over abuse during exorcism (NCR)