Allentown, PA–the concerned parents of an 18-year-old Pennsylvania say that they caught their daughter and the local Catholic high school priest having sex in the basement and are now suing since their daughter is allegedly pregnant. The couple decided to install a video camera in their basement because of the increasing amounts of time their daughter and the priest were spending alone together while she was still a high school student. According to their lawsuit, which was filed in court last Thursday, the video footage shows the girl and the priest having sex in November 2009, after the girl graduated from Central Catholic High School.
The lawsuit alleges that Rev. Luis A. Bonilla Margarito carried on a sexual relationship with the couple’s teenage daughter while she was a senior at the Catholic high school. In addition, Bonilla and the girl are apparently living together now. Last Friday, a reporter from the Associated Press knocked on the door of the apartment where the couple allegedly lives. A young woman answered who identified herself as the girl named in the lawsuit, but declined to call Bonilla to the door. However, the maintenance man at the apartment complex confirmed that the couple had been living at the apartment for 2 to 3 months and that the girl had the baby about 6 weeks ago.
According to the local Catholic diocese in Allentown, Bonilla was removed from his positions as pastor and chaplain of St. Joseph Church in Reading after the girl’s parents took the sex tape to the Diocese of Allentown. At that time Bonilla admitted to having a sexual relationship with the girl and was sent to a treatment facility. However, according to the lawsuit, he continued to have inappropriate sexual conduct with the girl during that time period, and ultimately impregnated her. Bonilla apparently moved out of the treatment facility at some point and moved into the apartment complex in Norristown.
According to the suit, the girl’s parents suspected a sexual relationship after Bonilla was named chaplain of Central Catholic High School in 2007, at the beginning of the girl’s senior year. Specifically, the parents accuse Bonilla of sexually manipulating their daughter, who was previously sexually abused by an adult man and had a history of mental issues as a result. Nevertheless, when her parents brought their concerns to the administrators at the high school they were told that there was nothing the school could do to separate the two since Father Bonilla was the girl’s "spiritual advisor and counselor". In addition, the suit argues that Bonilla purposefully alienated the girl from her parents by telling her that "she was 18 and no longer needed to obey them." The suit names as defendants Bonilla, the diocese, the high school, Allentown Bishop John Barres, and former Bishop Edward Cullen. The parents are seeking punitive damages for the alienation from their daughter, breach of fiduciary duty, infliction of emotional distress and gross negligence.
recently named in the 2009 edition of Best Lawyer's In America, David Mittleman has been representing seriously injured people since 1985. A partner with Church Wyble PC—a division of Grewal Law PLLC—Mr. Mittleman and his partners focus on medical malpractice, wrongful death, car accidents, slip and falls, nursing home injury, pharmacy/pharmacist negligence and disability claims.