Clewiston, LaBelle, Belle Glade, Moore Haven, Lake Okeechobee - Sunday Morning News: "Church Settles Sex Suit
'Father Willy' Romero faces two more
LABELLE, FL. (May 23, 2004) -- A former Catholic school student will collect $135,000 from the Archdiocese of Miami in the first settlement of sexual misconduct lawsuits against William Romero, an ex-priest who lives in LaBelle. At the time of the incidents, the Archdiocese of Miami was the governing diocese for the Southwest Florida student. In 1984 the new Diocese of Venice took jurisdiction.
The inappropriate conduct took place in 1976 when the boy was 12 at the boy's home during a game of leapfrog and later on an overnighter at the St. Ann rectory. At the rectory, Father Willy as he was called, reportedly talked the boy into showering with him and touched the boy's genitals while masturbating himself. Romero, resigned from the clergy last year, faces two other sex abuse cases, including one case from 1982 through 1989 when he was the parish priest at St. Joseph's in Moore Haven. Allegedly he showered weekly with a 9-year old girl and had sex with her two brothers. "