Man sues over alleged abuse by priest

Oct. 4, 2011 at 4:10 PM
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BELLEVILLE, Ill., Oct. 4 (UPI) -- An Illinois man has sued a former Catholic priest saying he recently recovered memories of being sexually molested when he was a young altar boy.

In his complaint filed Monday in St. Clair County, the man, identified only as John Doe S.W., said his memories of being abused by Raymond Kownacki were triggered in 2009, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. Doe said he served as Kownacki's caretaker until the former priest gave him a list of people he wanted to get in touch with that included some who had accused him of abuse.

Kownacki now lives in a retirement home in South St. Louis. He was removed from active ministry in 1995.

The lawsuit also names the diocese of Belleville, Ill., as a defendant, charging that church officials covered up charges against Kownacki for several years.

A former housekeeper has charged that Kownacki beat and raped her and then performed an abortion when she became pregnant. Two men who alleged sexual abuse won judgments of $1.2 million in one case and $5.3 million in another.

Doe said Kownacki has been sending his children letters and he believes the priest is still dangerous.

"This is really to protect children -- my children and other children," Doe, 42, told the Post-Dispatch.

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