He says 3 Catholic priests in Alamogordo molested him
former altar boy, now a man of 34, alleges in lawsuits that three
priests at St. Jude Catholic Church in Alamogordo molested him for
The plaintiff, Eran Joseph McManemy, also says the Catholic Church’s
hierarchy knew that one of the priests had been sexually abusing boys
since the 1960s but did nothing to stop him.
This priest was the Rev. David A. Holley, who left a long trail of
molestations at churches from Worcester, Mass., to ones in New Mexico
Finally, in 1993, Holley was sentenced to 275 years in prison for
sodomizing and molesting eight other boys in Alamogordo. He died in
prison in 2008 at age 80.
The other two priests that McManemy identified as his molesters at St. Jude were the Revs. Daniel Barfield and Wilfred Diamond.
The chancellor of the Diocese of Las Cruces, which has jurisdiction over
St. Jude’s Church, said he had not seen the lawsuit and therefore could
not comment on it. A call seeking comment from the Diocese of El Paso
was not returned. Holley worked in El Paso parishes in the early 1970s,
accumulating molestation complaints long before he eventually met
McManemy in Alamogordo.
Merit Bennett, one of McManemy’s lawyers, says church leaders did not
notify police or prosecutors when they learned that Holley had molested
Instead, Bennett said, a cover-up occurred and Holley was moved along to
the next unsuspecting parish, where he could prey on more boys. The
church practiced this indifference to Holley’s pedophilia starting in
Massachusetts and continued it when he moved west, Bennett said.
He said this enabled Holley to rape McManemy in approximately 1990. In
the lawsuits, filed Monday evening, McManemy says Barfield physically
restrained him while Holley carried out the rape.
“The damage done to him is very insidious,” Bennett said of McManemy.
“He is in therapy and has been for the last couple of years.”
Since the early 1990s, Bennett said, he had handled 100 to 150 cases in
which people alleged molestation by priests or other adults while they
were children. Each one was settled before going to trial, but the
victims were scarred for life, he said.
“I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who’s recovered from it,” Bennett said.
McManemy was a child of 9, living with his grandparents, when they moved to Alamogordo and joined St. Jude Church in 1987.
McManemy became an altar boy for Diamond, the parish priest. He says Diamond began molesting him almost immediately.
“The abuse occurred several times each week until Father Diamond eventually retired in or about 1988,” McManemy’s lawsuit says.
Barfield received an appointment as pastor of the parish in
approximately 1990. McManemy says Barfield also sexually and physically
McManemy says he was not abused by a priest who served in between the tenures of Diamond and Barfield.
Diamond, according to the lawsuits, had a long history with Holley in Alamogordo.
“In mid-1975, Holley was invited by Diamond to assist Diamond at the St.
Jude Mission, then under the supervision of the Diocese of El Paso,”
the suits say. Holley’s association with Diamond would last for almost
four years during the ‘70s.
One family complained that he had sexually molested its son, but no
action was taken against Holley by the Diocese of El Paso, according to
“Instead, Holley was made an assistant pastor at the Catholic Church of
St. Raphael in El Paso,” McManemy’s lawsuits allege. “... Of course,
Holley promptly sexually molested one or more children at St.
The Diocese of El Paso transferred Holley to its Church of Our Lady of
the Valley. He molested more young boys there, Bennett said. Then Holley
was transferred to a church in San Angelo, Texas, where the pattern of
Bennett said the church knew Holley was a pedophile, for it had sent him
for treatment at a center in New Mexico run by the Paraclete order.
Bennett said the church was aware that these programs would not cure or
stop a pedophile priest, but it assigned Holley and other child
molesters to new parishes anyway.
McManemy, unlike many who say they were victims of sexual assault, decided to file the lawsuits using his real name.
Bennett said McManemy believed that identifying himself was a necessary step in his attempt to heal, and because he wanted to confront the church for its misdeeds.