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Warren County woman claims exorcisms turned to sexual abuse

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By Sally Voth -- svoth@nvdaily.com

An international Catholic organization based in Front Royal is being sued by a woman who claims its former president repeatedly sexually molested her while performing exorcisms.

Fairfax attorney Demetrios C. Pikrallidas filed the complaint on behalf of an unidentified woman on June 19 in Arlington County Circuit Court. "Jane Doe" is seeking $5.35 million against the Catholic Diocese of Arlington, its bishop, the Most Rev. Paul S. Loverde, and Human Life International Inc. and Human Life International Endowment Inc., both of 4 Family Life Lane, Front Royal.

The complaint accuses HLI's former president, the Rev. Thomas J. Euteneuer, of abusing Doe during the course of more than two years. It also says he snuck visits to her on a family vacation to Hawaii, burned her diary and brought her to work at HLI.

Euteneuer worked for HLI from 2000 until August 2010, the organization's communications director, Stephen Phelan, said Wednesday afternoon. HLI and the Diocese of Arlington on Wednesday distanced themselves from the priest.

The complaint says Euteneuer went to the pro-life organization in part to continue "his ministry in 'Spiritual Deliverance'" and exorcism rites. The rite is to only be practiced with a prepared support team, something all of the defendants knew, it states.

The plaintiff signed a spiritual help agreement that "defines 'deliverance' as 'the application of the spiritual resources of the Church to persons with demonic infestation in order to liberate them from the influence of unclean spirits,'" on Feb. 28, 2008, according to the complaint. It required her to completely cooperate with the priest and to go to his HLI offices, it states.

Euteneuer told Doe that her possession was "severe," according to the complaint, "and he promised that he would never abandon her and would always be her friend."

"Between April 2008 and June 2010, Euteneuer conducted regular and frequent exorcisms and delivery ministry sessions with the Plaintiff and without any support team," the suit states.

Most of the pair's meetings were in the HLI corporate offices, it states.

The alleged molestation started early on with "prolonged and tight hugs" and Euteneuer stroking her back and legs, the complaint states. In April 2008, while hugging the woman after a difficult meeting, the priest said, "I wish I could go a lot further," according to the complaint.

He then carried her to a guest bedroom at HLI, laid her on a bed, reached under her bra and tried to touch her further, but was stopped by her, although he spent the night in the bed with her, according to the suit.

The sexual advances progressed, with Euteneuer kissing her mouth, stroking her face, legs and breasts, lying on top of her and giving her "passionate kisses" under the guise of "blowing the Holy Spirit into" her, according to the complaint.

On about six occasions between April 2008 and June 2010, the complaint states, Euteneuer told Doe to take off her clothes, touched and kissed her, digitally penetrated her, and told her to touch his penis.

Throughout this timeframe, the exorcist knew the woman had a dissociative disorder, and was dependent on him physically, emotionally, and spiritually, and knew the acts weren't consensual, according to the complaint.

"The sexual abuse by Euteneuer was always paired with deliverance or exorcism sessions which created in the Plaintiff a distorted and damaging belief that exorcism was tied to sexual activity, and sexual activity was necessary to keep her spiritual adviser," the complaint states.

Euteneuer arranged for the woman to be hired by HLI, although "the circumstances surrounding the hiring...were contrary to HLI corporate policy but were ratified and approved by HLI and HLIE," the complaint states.

It accuses the priest of sexually abusing her at work, as well as giving her money. The suit says Euteneuer spent thousands of dollars to have her treated by a man said to free people from witchcraft and satanism, and to visit a Kentucky psychologist.

When Euteneuer learned the woman and her family were going to Hawaii three years ago, he urged her not to go, and convinced her to hand over her diary for "safekeeping," according to the petition. It states he secretly met with her in Hawaii every morning she was there, and later told her he'd burned the journal because it would cause a scandal.

The next year, Euteneuer prayed over the plaintiff in a hotel room while attending a conference in Michigan, and again molested her, according to the suit. Realizing that Euteneuer's behavior was "illegal, inappropriate, outrageous, harmful and completely contrary to the dictates of her understanding of Roman Catholic beliefs and practices," she met with a diocese priest the next month, and told him what had been happening.

Later that summer, Euteneuer again penetrated her digitally on two occasions, according to the suit, and one instance resulted in a bloody discharge and pain for three days, according to the suit.

The suit accuses all of the defendants of negligence, as well as assault, since Euteneuer was overseen by the diocese and Loverde, and while employed by HLI and HLIE. It also alleges battery against all of them, and says the final incident -- which came after Euteneuer was recalled to the Diocese of Palm Beach, Fla. -- was done "in a rude and angry way."

It alleges the diocese and HLI and HLIE waited two months before dismissing Euteneuer.

Diocese of Arlington communications director Michael Donohue said in a Wednesday afternoon phone interview that Euteneuer never worked for the diocese, but instead for the Diocese of Palm Beach, where he'd been ordained.

"Father Euteneuer is not and never has been a priest of the Diocese of Arlington," he said. "However he came to be hired by HLI, they brought him on to head their organization, and his diocese, his bishop in Palm Beach, had to approve of him taking that position.

"Human Life International was not under the direction or control of the Arlington diocese."

The victim in the case contacted the Diocese of Arlington's victim assistance office, which in turn informed the Diocese of Palm Beach within two days, Donohue said. He said the priest was then recalled to Florida.

"The plaintiff did receive psychological and spiritual assistance from the Diocese of Arlington subsequent [to her report]," Donohue said.

While Doe's complaint says Loverde and the diocese gave Euteneuer permission to perform exorcisms within the diocese, Donohue said that wasn't the case.

"Bishop Loverde did not give him permission to perform exorcism on the plaintiff," he said. "The Diocese of Arlington does have an exorcist."

HLI on Wednesday referred to a prior statement from Euteneur admitting his departure from the organization was caused by his own actions, and the Church wasn't at fault.

"I must acknowledge...that one particularly complex situation clouded my judgment and led me to imprudent decisions with harmful consequences, the worst of which was violating the boundaries of chastity with an adult female who was under my spiritual care," Euteneuer said in a January 2011 statement.

His statement says his "violations" didn't involve "the sexual act."

In a statement from HLI Wedneday, the organization claims Euteneur's "highly inappropriate" actions were "never within the scope of his employment with HLI."

The exorcism ministry was Euteneur's own doing, Phelan said in a phone interview.

"It's not a part of our ministry," he said. "It was something that Father Euteneuer did."

The Diocese of Palm Beach's communications director, Dianne Laubert, said that when it learned of the allegations, Euteneuer was restricted in his ministerial work.

"He currently remains without priestly faculties," she said. "I don't know of his whereabouts."

Laubert referred further questions to Euteneuer's attorney, Tom Condit.

The Cincinnati attorney said he hadn't spoken to Euteneuer in a while.

"At this point, he's not looking to be, or stay in the news over any of this," Condit said. "I don't even know where he is, quite frankly."

He said inaccuracies had been published about the priest.

"He simply decided to stand on his statement and suffer all of the indignities of the inaccurate information that started flowing," Condit said.

Pikrallidas said in a Wednesday interview there had been a "private settlement with other parties" in relation to Euteneuer's alleged abuse.

"If she was paid any money for any settlement, Father Tom Euteneuer had nothing to do with it," Condit said.

Pikrallidas said he believes there are other victims.

As for the $5.3 million figure, "our client's life has been ruined," he said.

The attorney described his client's state as "traumatized, terrible."

He described the exorcisms as a "last resort.

"She went through the proper channels of the Catholic Church to determine whether it was mental or not," Pikrallidas said. "They determined it was not. As a Catholic she exercised every single avenue of assistance."


FYI, Digital penetration is fingers not an electronic device if anyone else gets bumfuzzled (and more troubled) like I did.

Hall said the case was highly unusual- I thought so too but only because is was an of age woman being abused and not like a 9yr. old boy! How did he work his way up through all the kiddie molesters? Just goes to show the dumb humans who go to church and are the church are just the same as us dumb ones who don't.


What, she is not suing Fr's mom and dad; don't they have any money????

What about the diocese of Palm Beach?

What about its bishop?

What about the next door neighbor???


I am by no means whatsoever taking up for the Preist here, but how slow does this adult woman have to be, for her to take two years to realize that she's being molested? Digital penetration, kissing, being told to be nude.... none of this registered in her brain, as it was happening, that it's inappropriate? Also, I've never heard of anyone having to sign contracts for an exorcism......

Nice to see the Christendom College's version of the catholic church. Apparently, I missed the sacrament of exorcism when I went to catholic school as a kid. Exorcism = cult, and Front Royal's version of the catholic church is nothing less than a cult.

Satan is in Front Royal!

I recently read where a California Court ordered The Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, (Jehovah's Witnesses) to pay over 20 million to a woman who was sexually abused as a child. So maybe this woman will win too. I hope this helps people realize that religious leaders are not above reproach.


What is a totalitarian system if not one where the abject glorification of the perfect leader, in this instance a Catholic priest, is matched by the surrender of all privacy and individuality, especially in matters sexual? One can only mourn over the dismal and stupid lectures on sexual aberration that we might have been spared if this exorcism nonsense, practiced almost exclusively against women, had been exposed earlier than it was. But much empirical evidence exists to reinforce the suggestion when priests go bad, they go very bad indeed, and commit crimes that would make the average sinner pale. One might prefer to attribute this aberrant priestly behavior to sexual repression than to the actual doctrines preached, but then one of the actual doctrines preached is sexual repression.

The holy book in the longest continuous use - the Talmud - commands the observant one to thank his maker every day that he was not born a woman. (This raises again the insistent question: who but a slave thanks his master for what his master has decided to do without bothering to consult him?) The Old Testament, as Christians condescendingly call it, has woman cloned from man for his use and comfort. The New Testament has Saint Paul expressing both fear and contempt for the female. Throughout all religious texts, there is a primitive fear that half the human race is simultaneously defiled and unclean, and yet is also a temptation to sin that is impossible to resist. Perhaps this explains the hysterical cult of virginity and of a Virgin, and the dread of the female form and of female reproductive functions? And there may be someone who can explain the sexual and other cruelties of the religious without any reference to the obsession with celibacy, but that someone will not be me. I simply laugh when I read the Koran, with its endless prohibitions on sex and its corrupt promise of infinite debauchery in the life to come: it is like seeing through the "let's pretend" of a child, but without the indulgence that comes from watching the innocent at play. The homicidal lunatics - rehearsing to be genocidal lunatics of 911 - were perhaps tempted by virgins, but it is far more revolting to contemplate that, like so many of their fellow jihadists, they were virgins. Like monks of old, the fanatics are taken early from their families, taught to despise their mothers and sisters, and come to adulthood without ever having had a normal conversation, let alone a normal relationship, with a woman. This is disease by definition. Christianity is too repressed to offer sex in paradise - indeed it has never been able to evolve a tempting heaven at all - but it has been lavish in its promise of sadistic and everlasting punishment for sexual backsliders, which is nearly as revealing in making the same point in a different way.

How different is rape from digital insertion?

Religion poisons everything.

I really didn't expect my first comment to last long. Some people don't have any sense of humor. I s'pose the editor was pressured into having it ranked as inappropriate,and it was removed.

Demons ? Get real !, It's all about sex, and some will do what ever they can to get it !

An article in todays Washington Post says "The Arlington diocese already has an exorcist, Donohue said, one of about 50 who perform the solemn rite in Catholic parishes across the country. In 1999, the Vatican formally revised and upheld the practice of exorcism for the first time in nearly 400 years."

Are you serious? Exorcisms are condoned by the vatican? What a crock......just another illustration that the catholic church is a cult that harbors sex abusers.

The article states that the priest knew the woman has a dissociative disorder.

I thought it was funny. I did not see any problem but I won't complain because before the new Daily owners took over there was a a#$load of censorship.

Candi, look into disassociative disorders before you label her 'slow'. Much too difficult to explain in is forum, but certainly explains how he got away with this for so long.

Religion "prays" on the weak, less stable and desperate. Most athiest and people who say they don't know certain things just that religeon is a crock(like me) consistently have higher IQs. Not implying I do.


Let's hope that every person who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes and misdeeds by Fr. Euteneuer will fin the courage and strength to speak up, call police, expose wrongdoing, protect kids and start healing.

Judy Jones, SNAP Midwest Associate Director, USA, 636-433-2511. snapjudy@gmail.com,
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests,) is the worlds oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims.
SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 12,000 members. Despite the word priest in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers and increasingly, victims who were assaulted in a wide range of institutional settings like summer camps, athletic programs, Boy Scouts, etc.

Whether the Roman Catholic Church can honestly distance themselves from Sex Offender priests is an ongoing battle for THAT institution to fight.
So, posters who show their own anger by lumping all Christian "religion" into one group are just doing lazy cheap shots.
And don't those same posters try to cast shame on people who would dare say that violent Muslims are very much legitimate members of Islam?
And I agree with the poster who wondered about the credibility of someone who signed a contract to have demons cast out of them.
For some proper perspective, read in the Bible, in the book of Acts, chapter 19, verses 13-20. Fakers are nothing new, and fakers in no way make the real thing a fake.

To... "make me an atheist". From one atheist to another... Keep it brief. You may have valid points. Keep it brief so I (and believers) will read it.

For thousands of years Roman Catholics have claimed a privileged position within religions hierarchy, professing superiority over all others, and willing to crusade waging war to prove the assertion god is on their side. 'Virginia Attorney' extends the claim of privilege asserting priestly sexual transgressions are somehow out of bounds to law enforcement by the states. Sole justification comes from a Bronze Age text whose true authorship may never become known and the Code of Virginia suddenly becomes a mysterious unknown, contributing nothing towards a valid legal opinion.

I always welcome those true believers who quote favorite biblical chapter and verse as proof of their debate position. The simple fact is that the collective essays of the bible, as we know it, is a helter-skelter accumulation of more or less discordant documents, some of them probably of respectable origin but others palpably apocryphal, and that most of them, the good along with the bad, show unmistakable signs of having been tampered with. The number of possible "Bibles" is now admitted to be immense, and we know for example that the portentous Christian term "Jehovah" is a mistranslation of the unuttered spaces between the letters of the Hebrew "Yahweh." The words "and it came to pass" can be found at least two thousand times, which does admittedly have a soporific effect. The late Senator Eugene McCarthy said he had once urged Senator Pat Robertson - father of the present television prophet - to support some mild civil rights legislation. "I'd sure like to help the colored," came the response, "but the Bible says I can't."

Just as the script of the Old Testament is riddled with dreams and with astrology (the sun standing still so that Joshua can complete his massacre at a site that has never been located), so the Christian bible is full of star-predictions (notably the one over Bethlehem) and witch doctors and sorcerers. Many of the sayings and deeds of Jesus are innocuous, most especially the "beatitudes" which express such fanciful wish thinking about the meek and the peacemakers. But many are unintelligible and show a belief in magic, several are absurd and show a primitive attitude to agriculture (this extends to all mentions of plowing and sowing, and all allusions to mustard or fig trees), and many are on the face of it flat-out immoral treatment of slaves and the daughters of slaves.

The Bible may, indeed does, contain a warrant for trafficking in humans, for ethnic cleansing, for slavery, for bride-price, and for indiscriminate massacre, but we are not bound by any of it because it was put together by crude, uncultured Bronze Age human mammals. But this argument takes place over the heads of those to whom the "Good Book" is all that is required. (One recalls the governor of Texas who, asked if the Bible should also be taught in Spanish, replied that "if English was good enough for Jesus, then it's good enough for me." Rightly are the simple so called.)

Intelligent schoolchildren have been upsetting their teachers with innocent but unanswerable questions ever since Bible study was instituted. For 'Virginia Attorney' to now also suggest punishment of Roman Catholic priests for wrongdoing is at the sole discretion of the Roman Catholic church is absurd.

What is good for Jerry Sandusky is good for Thomas J. Euteneuer. Failing to grasp this legal principle questions 'Virginia Attorney's' understanding of commonwealth law that fails to provide separation of criminals into those with religious beliefs and those without.

im sure all of you have nothing better to do than comment on things that you have no info other than what you read in the NVD and shame on the nvd for letting comments get out of hand!

So, spunky.....

....do you have any personal information over and above the NVD article to share with us about this exorcism? Or are you like me and you have nothing better to do than comment about things you have no info on? If you have no info, where does the shame now fall? I can't speak for you but right about now I'm feeling pretty dirty and shameful.


You don't really think he is going to listen do you? TGFMMAA lays his case out with a great knowledge of religion and a methodical way to communicate it. I will keep reading all his post. He is giving his time and his knowledge for free. I am sure it took a long time, no matter how intelligent, to gather all those facts he passes along for free. I also know the believers read or have read his work because all he ever gets is a weak little jab every once in awhile back from them. They are intimidated for different reasons but the main reason is he knows their religion better than they do.

I am interested to know what the driving force was for you to learn as much on this subject of religion. A hunger for the truth or personal experience? If comfortable, please enlighten.


So we're supposed to believe that this woman was a poor little victim. Maybe she set him up. These days it doesn't matter what you do; it only matters who you are.


Blame the victim mentality only serves to rally more people behind said victim. Also, the fact that this article and many old ones from when the story originally broke (google) clearly state the woman had mental issues, he should have known better. Not to mention the fact he has publicly admitted to wrong doing.

Moreover if a certain group of people are still in this day and age insane enough to believe someone is in need of an exorcism, WHY would it only be one priest and NO ONE else present???

Going beyond this current news bite and looking at all the rest of the stories from when it broke (again google) it appears this man knew exactly what he was doing and acted the predator.

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