Monday, October 10, 2016

Pervert Catholic priest with 'foot fetish' is accused of sexting and groping his own housekeeper - despite already having been treated for 'deviancy'

'Foot fetishist': Fr Ramon Palomera is alleged by a housekeeper to have sexually harassed her for months, rubbing his bare feet against her legs and sexting herA perverted Catholic priest with a track record of sexual harassment has been accused of molesting a housekeeper and sending her sexually-explicit photos - despite having completed a Church-ordered course of therapy for 'sexual deviancy'.

Fr Ramon Palomera is accused of forcing the housekeeper to give him massages, fondling her legs, exposing his genitals to her and bombarding her with explicit pictures of his penis, according to a lawsuit seen by

The alleged sexual harassment took place at St Francis Xavier church in Los Angeles between 2014 to 2015 - just four years after he was removed from neighboring St Augustine's church for sexual harassing another female employee over a seven-year period.
The alleged victim is now suing Palomera, along with the Archdiocese of Los Angeles - which is led by Archbishop José Gomez - which she claims assigned the priest to her church despite knowing he had 'a propensity for violent and sexual acts against women'.

The suit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on Wednesday by leading civil rights attorney Mark Geragos states that between 2003 and 2010 Palomera sexually harassed a female employee at St Augustine Church, in the Culver City area of Los Angeles.

The abuse was so serious it resulted in a restraining order being issued against him.

Palomera was assigned to therapy for his 'sexual deviancy issues' - however in 2014 the priest was appointed to St Francis Xavier church in downtown Los Angeles as associate pastor.

The suit alleges that the archdiocese and Fr Enrique Huerta, another priest at St Francis, made the appointment knowing that Palomera was 'entirely unfit to serve as a clergy member'.

The Mexico born 50-year-old began his campaign of harassment as soon as he started the role, ordering the housekeeper - named in the suit only as Jane Doe - to unpack his belongings 'among which he knew were objects of sexual gratification including condoms'.   
He instructed her to unpack the items with the 'intent of humiliating the Plaintiff and causing her emotional distress', the suit claims, and mocked her when she refused.

Palomera, a former funeral director and mortuary musician who played the organ for grieving relatives before he was ordained into the priesthood in 1999, soon began touching the housekeeper 'in an inappropriate and sexual manner' - including pinching her buttocks, the lawsuit adds.

The housekeeper also alleges Palomera had a foot fetish - asking her to give him foot massages and fondling her legs with his bare feet while she worked.

On one occasion Palomera flashed the housekeeper as she was cooking in the church rectory by 'pulling down his pants, and revealing his penis', causing her to flee the building in 'disbelief, fear, confusion and severe emotional shock'.

Palomera also made 'obscene sexual advances' towards the alleged victim and bombarded her with late-night phone calls asking her to let him come to her house, according to the damning papers.

The housekeeper reported the incidents but nothing was done - with Huerta even telling her to leave Palomera alone and ignore his calls.

The suit states that she, 'reported Defendant Palomera's inappropriate conduct to Defendants Archbishop, St Francis and Huerta but all failed to take measure to force the defendant to cease his conduct… or provide for the removal, discipline or supervision of Defendant Palomera.'

The priest even began sexting the housekeeper - and on three occasions texted her pictures of his penis.

She kept one of the images and showed it to Huerta but he still 'took no action to prevent Defendant Palomera from further harassing the Plaintiff' the lawsuit states.

The anonymous housekeeper is now suing Palomera for sexual battery, gender violence and inflicting emotional distress, claiming his 'extreme and outrageous conduct… exceeds the bounds of decency tolerated in a civilized society.'

Ben Meiselas, of Geragos & Geragos said: 'This disgusting, abhorrent, and criminal behavior has caused our client the worst pain and suffering imaginable. It is horrific that the Church refuses to take accountability. We look forward to presenting our case to a jury.'

The Archdiocese, Huerta and St Francis church are being sued for 'negligent hiring, retention, supervision and failure to warn' along with inflicting emotional distress.

The defendants are accused of 'extreme and outrageous conduct' by failing in their duty of care to hire 'fit and competent employees' and supervise them adequately, the documents say.

By ignoring the housekeeper's repeated complaints about Palomera's conduct they caused her 'extreme emotional distress'.

They should have also warned staff and members of the public who came to the church that Palomera posed a danger to those around him.

The housekeeper is also suing all the defendants for defamation - accusing them of spreading false rumors that she was having a sexual relationship with Huerta, which she claims paint her as an 'unchaste and immoral individual'.

She is seeking an undisclosed amount in damages.

Palomera, who has now been removed from the church, declined to comment on the allegations when confronted by

A spokesperson for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles said that as they hadn't yet received the lawsuit they couldn't fully respond.

They said that some of the allegations made 'are not fully consistent' with the facts they received from the former employee at the time she made the report or during the internal investigation that followed.

The spokesperson said: 'When the former adult employee reported the inappropriate conduct to the Archdiocese on September 18, 2015, Fr. Palomera was removed from ministry that same day and has not been allowed to return.

'In November 2010, Fr Palomera was the subject of an investigation and was removed from ministry.

'He was sent for treatment and upon his return had limited faculties until late 2012 when he was found able to return to a parish assignment. The 2010 matter involved a multi-year relationship with an adult female.'

The spokesperson noted that The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Los Angeles named in the lawsuit refers to the formal civil corporation, not the archbishop himself - in other words, that the housekeeper is suing what would commonly be called the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

The Catholic Church has a long and controversial history of covering up sexual abuse - particularly child sex abuse - as recently highlighted in the Oscar-winning movie Spotlight.

The film is based on the true story of a Boston Globe investigation which uncovered widespread and systematic child sex abuse by Catholic priests in the area.

The team of journalists - who won a Pulitzer prize for the probe - discovered that the Church moved around 90 known-pedophile priests to different roles within the diocese.

A report commissioned by the Church in 2003 found that more than 4,000 Catholic priests had faced sexual abuse allegations in the last 50 years in the US.

A series of large payouts has already been made by the Church to alleged victims of abuse - including $660 million from the Archdiocese of Los Angeles in 2007.

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