The following comes from a San Jose Mercury News article by Eric Kurhi:
A youth counselor at an East San Jose church is being accused in a lawsuit of sexually molesting a teenage girl.
The civil complaint, filed Wednesday in Santa Clara County Superior Court on behalf of the girl, who is now over 18, alleges that lay pastoral associate Walter Mena demonstrated inappropriate behavior toward the girl before allegedly molesting her at an Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish retreat at Joseph D. Grant County Park in August 2014.
According to the complaint, Mena served as an lay pastoral associate at the church, counseling young parishioners, and during the assault he threatened to reveal her “secrets” to her parents if she told anyone.
After telling another youth minister about Mena in May 2015, she was approached by two church employees who told her that he “was physically demonstrative with children because he loved them so much,” and asked her not to talk about it any more.
The complaint alleges that when she refused, Mena and his wife went to her home to talk to her family about what was being said, ultimately telling her parents about some of what was revealed in counseling in an attempt to discredit her.
The next day the girl and her mother met with the pastor at the church, who reported it to police.
The complaint says that she remains distraught, and has nightmares and panic attacks. It seeks more than $5 million in damages for emotional distress and suffering.
“She has gone from being an excellent student to having great difficulty performing her schoolwork,” it says, adding that she “has begun to doubt her faith,” no longer wants to attend a Catholic college and is afraid of men and relationships because of what happened.
The San Jose Diocese is named in the complaint for “failure to properly train, supervise and monitor its employees and agents. It also includes as-yet-unnamed workers and in addition to counts related to sexual assault includes negligence and defamation.