The end, to what has been nearly a decade-long legal fight, may soon be upon us. On August 5, 2011, an attorney representing a man who claims that he was sexually abused by a Priest at St. Theresa’s Parish in Salem, acknowledges that his client will soon gain $6.3 million in compensation.
The lawsuit, filed in 2008, sought litigation against the Diocese of Belleville. The plaintiff, in this case James Wisniewski, alleged that Rev. Raymond Kownacki sexually abused him dozens of times in the 1970’s at St. Theresa’s Parish in Salem, beginning when he was 13. The conclusion of the trial witnessed the jury award Wisniewski $5 million. However, the diocese resisted payment, resulting in an additional $1.33 million in interest that the St. Clair County court will force the church to pay.
Due to the recent onslaught of clergy sexual abuse lawsuits being filed throughout the U.S., the recent outcome should come at no surprise to the public. In an all too familiar scenario, another individual has alleged that the Roman Catholic church is to blame for demonstrating significant “callous indifference” on behalf of his suffering as a 10-year-old boy. Just last week, a civil suit was filed by a man recognizable only by the alias “Billy”. Court documents allege that the Philadelphia archdiocese allowed two priests and a teacher to serially rape “Billy” while attending their Parish.
As it stands, a grand jury has officially filed rape charges against the three individuals accused of sexually abusing “Billy”. Accordingly, the civil suit accuses the archdiocese with negligence and recklessness, while also accusing the alleged rapists of battery. The suit seeks at least $450,000 in damages from the archdiocese and other defendants that were allegedly involved in the case.
Amidst the festering scrutiny that is currently plaguing the Roman Catholic church in Philadelphia, the ground breaking criminal case against St. Theresa’s Parish in Salem threatens to further tarnish their already diminished status.
Have You or A Loved One Been the Victim of Clergy Sexual Abuse?
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If you or a loved one have been the victim of clergy sexual abuse, you should contact our lawyers immediately by clicking the link below or calling toll free 1-(949) 557-5800. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and we can help.