Yakima Diocese Faces Civil Suit Regarding 1999 Sexual Assault - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Yakima Diocese Faces Civil Suit Regarding 1999 Sexual Assault

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Testimony began Monday in a court case against the Catholic Diocese of Yakima. Testimony began Monday in a court case against the Catholic Diocese of Yakima.

YAKIMA, WA - Testimony began Monday in a court case against the Catholic Diocese of Yakima.

The lawsuit is seeking damages for an alleged sexual assault at a Zillah church 15 years ago. Arguments heard by a federal judge Monday centered on whether the Catholic Church can be held accountable for a sexual assault allegedly committed by a transitional deacon of the Resurrection Church in Zillah. 

According to court statements made Monday, Aaron Ramirez has admitted to providing alcohol and then raping a 17-year-old boy back in 1999. What the judge will decide is whether the Catholic Dioceses of Yakima should be held accountable for what Ramirez did. 

The church claims they was unaware that Ramirez was a threat and it is unreasonable for the church to have monitored his activities 24-7. The plaintiff says that Ramirez was under the care of the Catholic Church and they should be held responsible for the severe mental damage the victim has suffered since. 

Aaron Ramirez, the man accused of the rape, fled to Mexico just days after investigators got involved years ago and he's never come back to America since. 

The plaintiff is asking for over 3 million dollars in damages for the victim, simply identified as John Doe.

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