A former Roman Catholic bishop who was forced to resign in a 1999 sex scandal is being sued by a man who claims the bishop abused him for nearly two decades.

The lawsuit filed Friday alleges the unidentified plaintiff was first molested when he was a sixth grade altar boy at St. Matthias Church in Huntington.

At 17, the plaintiff alleges, the Rev. G. Patrick Ziemann began paying him for sexual acts, and Ziemann continued the relationship after being named spiritual director of the now-closed Queen of Angels Seminary in the San Fernando Valley in 1985.

The suit claims the relationship with Ziemann, 60, who now lives in an Arizona monastery, went on until Ziemann was named auxiliary bishop of Los Angeles in 1987, the Los Angeles Times reported Saturday.

Ziemann was named bishop of Santa Rosa in 1992. The lawsuit claims the archdioceses of Los Angeles and San Francisco recommended he be appointed bishop "in part as a reward for his agreement to engage with them in a conspiracy to conceal sexual abuse" within the church.

Ziemann stepped down as bishop in 1999 after a priest filed a sexual abuse lawsuit.

A spokesman for the Los Angeles Archdiocese, Tod Tamberg, said the church hadn't seen the lawsuit and could not comment.

Ziemann's lawyer, Chris Andrian, was out of town and could not be reached for comment until Monday, an operator at his message service said Saturday.