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      Sex abuse lawsuit filed against Diocese of Brownsville

      A lawsuit filed Friday alleges that a longtime-Rio Grande Valley priest abused and molested a child in Mission more than 30 years ago.

      The court documents, obtained by Action 4 News, claim Father Armando Escobedo gave alcohol, abused,and molested one of his altar boys.

      Diana Gonzalez, a former abuse victim, announced the lawsuit at a press conference over the weekend.

      "You don't go to church, you don't send your child to the church so they can be abused... I hope... so we dont need these kind of predators at the church, and the church shouldn't be a safe haven for predators," she said.

      The identity of the man filing the lawsuit is being withheld, but according to the documents, he served as an altar boy in the late 1970's at Our Lady of St .John of Fields in Mission.

      It also says Father Escobedo would threaten the victim and tell him not to tell anyone.

      Gonzalez said her group, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), is providing support to the victim.

      "It's been a very painful recovery... it's taken many years... it's caused a lot of havoc in my life," Gonzalez read .

      Although she is not a part of the lawsuit, Gonzalez said she wanted to show her support for the victim and encourage other victims to come forward.

      "People need support to come forward and talk about it... it's shameful and it destroys your life... you need all the support you can get," Gonzalez said.

      Action 4 News talked to a spokesperson from the Diocese of Brownsville.

      The Diocese would not speak on camera but said they heard about the lawsuit.

      However, they refused to comment stating that they have not received a full-copy of the lawsuit for themselves.