Austin Diocese Targeted by Lawsuit for Sexual Assault Conducted by Father
Attorney Sean Breen, Partner of Howry, Breen & Herman, LLP in Austin, Texas, is acting as a legal representative for six women who have filed a clergy sexual abuse lawsuit against the Catholic Diocese of Austin, Bishop Joseph Vasquez, and Father Isidore Ndagizimana. Within the lawsuit, Father Ndagizimana is repeatedly named as the perpetrator of many sexual offenses against the women, but Bishop Vasquez and the Austin Diocese itself are being accused of severely mishandling allegations against Ndagizimana and failing to protect worshippers from his actions.
All six women allege that Ndagizimana sexually assaulted, abused, and groomed them during his time at St. Thomas More Catholic Church in Austin. He has been accused of various inappropriate acts, including but not limited to uninvited sexual touching, unwelcome sexual advances, and holding women against their will, sometimes during confessions.
According to the lawsuit, the Austin Diocese was well aware of Ndagizimana’s abuse and misconduct but did not do enough to protect the women from it. When the women initially complained to the Diocese, they were informed that many others also had similar complaints throughout the years. Once their own complaints were brought forward, the Austin Diocese transferred Ndagizimana to Brenham and claimed he was enrolled in mandatory therapy to correct his behaviors. Only four short months later, though, he was allowed to return to his religious service and the Diocese announced he had been “healed.” At this time, there is not much reason to believe that Ndagizimana had received any effective therapy.
To make matters even worse, the women allege the Austin Diocese informed them to take no legal action against the church or Ndagizimana. Instead, they were instructed to trust in the church to make things right.
Ensuring Justice Requires Strong Action
Attorney Breen is proud to represent these brave women, who first filed their lawsuit in November. It is only after the Austin Diocese and Ndagizimana dismissed the validity and importance of the situation did these women decide to come forward, publically announce the lawsuit, and shine a spotlight on Ndagizimana.
It is the hope of these women, and that of our team at Howry, Breen & Herman, LLP, the lawsuit will help bring forth a sense of justice and peace of mind. By taking legal action against this offender and his church, we also hope to prevent any such unacceptable abuse and behaviors to be carried out by members of the cloth, anywhere in Austin and beyond.
To learn more about our law firm in Austin, please contact usat any time. You can also call (512) 430-4844 to arrange a free, confidential consultation if you or someone you know have been abused by a clergy member and now need help filing a lawsuit.