2 New Sex Abuse Suits Filed Against Missouri Diocese

August 3, 2020

Two new lawsuits allege that the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph in Missouri covered up abuse by two priests who were known to be sexual predators.

The lawsuits, one filed on July 28 and the other on July 20, were announced by the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

One of the priests died while the diocese was in the process of removing him from the priesthood and the other is no longer allowed to present himself as a priest, the diocese said.

The lawsuit filed July 20 alleges the Rev. Darvin Salazar sexually assaulted the victim in the rectory at Holy Cross Catholic Church and then prevented the plaintiff from leaving in July 2018, The Kansas City Star reported.

The lawsuit says the Kansas City-St. Joseph diocese had reports about Salazar’s “sexual predation” from at least five others but failed to remove him from service until after he committed sexual crimes against the plaintiff.

The diocese said all allegations against Salazar were presented to law enforcement, which declined to bring criminal charges.

The second lawsuit, filed July 28, alleges former priest John R. Tulipana assaulted a 13-year-old boy several times in 1977 while at Coronation of Our Lady Catholic Church in Grandview.

Tulipana was barred from the ministry in 1994. He died in 2012.

In 2008, the diocese agreed to a $10 million settlement with 47 plaintiffs who alleged sexual abuse by 12 priests, including Tulipana. In 2014, the diocese paid out another $10 million to settle sexual abuse lawsuits of 32 plaintiffs that involved 14 current and former priests — including Tulipana — in cases filed from September 2010 through February 2014.

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