Chicago Archdiocese Settles Another Sexual Abuse Claim Involving Father Fitzharris

On Monday, August 29, 2011, the attorneys of another sexual abuse victim of Father Joseph Fitzharris announced that they had reached a settlement with the Archdiocese of Chicago regarding the claim. The victim, who attended St. Francis Xavier Church in Avondale, claimed that he had been sexually abused by the priest In the 1980s. As part of the settlement with this victim and others, the Archdiocese has agreed to release information concerning 35 priests who have been accused of clergy misconduct. This office has handled numerous cases against Father Fitzharris and other priests involving claims of clergy misconduct.

Five Former Altar Boys Settle Sexual Abuse Claims With Trenton Archdiocese

Five former altar boys who claim that a priest sexually abused them in the 1970s and 1980s have reached a settlement with the Archdiocese of Trenton, New Jersey for $1 million.  The Archdiocese of Trenton announced that the Plaintiffs' allegations of sexual abuse were credible.  The victims claimed that they were sexually assaulted between the ages of 11 to 16 by the priest.  One of the victims claimed that he was sexually assaulted 150 times.  Another one of the victims says he does not consider himself Catholic anymore.  When the first complaint came forward about the sexual abuse, the church removed the priest from ministry, according to the Archdiocese.  In 2002, the priest was defrocked.  The Archdiocese declined to issue an apology for what the priest allegedly did.  The Law Offices of Eugene K. Hollander has handled a number of sexual abuse claims against the Archdiocese of Chicago, including Father Joseph Fitzharris.

Wisniewski Sexual Abuse Case to Settle

The attorney for sexual abuse victim James Wisniewski has announced that his client will receive $6.3 million from the Diocese of Belleville. in 2008, a jury awarded Wisniewski $5 million. The verdict has since earned $1.3 million in interest. Wisniewski claimed thar Raymond Kownacki, a priest, abuse him dozens of times in the 1970s.

Two New Sexual Abuse Lawsuits Filed Against Chicago Archdiocese

This past Tuesday, two women filed lawsuits against the Archdiocese of Chicago, alleging that they were sexually assaulted by a priest at St. Peter Damian Catholic Church in Bartlett, Illinois. Both women, who are in their 60s, claimed that they repressed memories of the sexual abuse. The women claim that they were sexually assaulted by Reverend Thomas Barry Horne starting when they were very young girls. According to the plaintiffs' attorney, the Archdiocese refused to offer any financial compensation.

Illinois Supreme Court Rejects Diocese Appeal of $5 Million Jury Verdict

On June 1, 2011, the state high court refused to hear an appeal of a $5 milliion jury verdict involving sexual abuse by a priest. in 2008, a St. Clair County jury awarded the sum to James Wisniewski after testimony established that he was sexually abused by a former priest, Raymond Kownacki. According to testimony at the trial, Wisniewski was sexually assualted when he was a 13 year old altar boy at St. Theresa's parish in Salem. The Diocese of Belleville had previously settled another sexual abuse case involving Kownacki for $1.2 million. Two other sexual abuse cases naming Kownacki are pending in St. Clair County Court. At trial, Wisniewski's lawyers introduced into evidence letters and documents that church officials knew that Kownacki had sexually assaulted minors but failed to call law enforcement and then repeatedly transferred the priest.

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