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Former Yakima bishop testifies at sex-abuse trial

YAKIMA, Wash. — Bishop Emeritus Carlos Sevilla testified Wednesday under questioning in federal court that he once described what happened between a deacon and a Zillah teen in 1999 as “sexual assault.”

The questioning came from Bryan Smith, who is representing the teen, known as John Doe, in a $3 million civil lawsuit against the Diocese of Yakima for allegedly failing to properly check Deacon Aaron Ramirez’s background before accepting him as a candidate for the priesthood. The lawsuit also alleges church officials failed to supervise him while he was in the diocese.

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