Houston Catholic Charity Faces Lawsuit

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A lawsuit has been filed against Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston and former employee, Carlos Antonio Valera. The family of the victim is represented by Texas attorney Rob Ranco from the Carlson Law Firm. (Case No. 2014-41705, 113th Judicial District Court of Harris County)

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Houston Catholic Charity faces lawsuit

It's our intention to make them sit up and take notice and admit what happened here.

A lawsuit has been filed against Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston and its former employee, Carlos Antonio Valera. The charity provides social services for families including immigrant legal services for about 80,000 families a year.

The lawsuit claims negligence of the organization and "willful disregard for the well-being of others and cover up that has persisted at the charity for nearly a decade." The family of the victim is represented by Texas attorney, Rob Ranco from the Carlson Law Firm. “We would like an admission. We would like an apology,” voiced Ranco.

Court documents (No. 2014-41705, 113th Judicial District Court, Harris County) show Valera was convicted of indecency with a child and sentenced to 7 years in prison this year.

These records (No. 2014-41705, 113th Judicial District Court, Harris County) allege there was a previous event with Valera and another middle school child two years prior to this incident in 2005. The family made a complaint to the senior administration.

According to court documents (No. 2014-41705, 113th Judicial District Court, Harris County), allegedly, an employee stated she was told by co-workers to “keep Valera away from children.” Another employee stated Valera was inappropriately visiting one of her clients as well.

The Charity is near the top of the list on the largest charity evaluator, Charity Navigator. It has been given four stars for the past 13 years. The organization released a statement concerning the lawsuit, claiming they were unaware of the inappropriate acts until they received an inquiry from the Grand Jury.

The family is seeking more than a million dollars in damages and requested a jury trial. The victim is now 18 years old. Ranco says his recovery will be a lifelong journey. "As embarrassing and horrifying as it is, he wants his story to be told."

Valera will be eligible for his first parole in 2017.

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Christina Bernhard
@CarlsonLawFirm
since: 03/2011
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