Accusations of Abuse by Priest Dating to Early 1940s

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WINSLOW, Ariz. — Alfred Moya was stopping at a restaurant in rural Gallup, N.M., on his way home to Phoenix in the summer of 2007 when he happened to glance at a newspaper article about children who had been sexually abused by a priest.

Suddenly, his thoughts flashed to his own days as an altar boy in nearby Holbrook, Ariz., and the town’s charismatic priest, the Rev. Clement A. Hageman. “And then I started remembering,” he would later recount, according to court documents.

Over the past few years, a growing number of predominantly Hispanic men from the string of dusty towns along Route 66 in Arizona have stepped forward, alleging that Father Hageman sexually abused them as boys when he worked in local parishes from the early 1940s until his death in 1975.

A recent study commissioned by the nation’s Roman Catholic bishops found the rise of sexual abuse in the church coincided with the social and sexual tumult of the 1960s and ’70s. But the story of Father Hageman, as told through recently released church documents chronicling his troubles, begins much earlier....

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