A woman has filed a lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, alleging the pastor of St. Lorenzo Ruiz Catholic Church in Walnut sexually abused her as a teen.

The woman claims the Rev. Michael Carroll sexually battered, assaulted, molested and abused her from 1967 to 1971 while he was serving at St. Anselm's Catholic Church in Los Angeles.

The alleged victim, who lives in Riverside County, is now 50. She was 14 when the alleged abuse began.

Her attorney, R. Richard Farnell of Farnell & Norman in Newport Beach, said the woman reported Carroll's alleged abuse to Cardinal Roger Mahony in 1996. Carroll was confronted, did not deny the allegations and apologized to the victim, Farnell said. The lawsuit was filed in December.

Carroll, who took over at St. Lorenzo Ruiz after the pastor resigned in February 2000, has repeatedly denied, under oath, that he engaged in sexual activities with a minor, church officials said.

Carroll did not return calls seeking comment.

He was named Citizen of the Year by the Walnut Chamber of Commerce on Saturday .

An official letter was read during Mass on Saturday and Sunday at St. Lorenzo Ruiz, alerting the estimated 1,200-family congregation about the lawsuit and why Carroll remains in the ministry, Archdiocese spokesman Tod Tamberg said Wednesday.

Tamberg said allegations against Carroll were reviewed by a 13-member panel that includes 11 lay people, including parents of boys who were abused by priests, abuse survivors, psychologists and child- welfare employees.

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