New Claims Made against Ex-Priest

Chicago Tribune
May 4, 2002

In an attempt to keep alive a lawsuit that accuses a former Chicago priest of sexual misconduct, an attorney filed new allegations Thursday claiming parishioners of St. Fabian Parish in Bridgeview had complained about his unwanted sexual advances.

The new details came in an amended lawsuit filed after a judge last week agreed with attorneys for the Catholic Church that the woman's previous allegations were legally vague. The judge allowed the woman's attorney to file again with more specific allegations showing the church's liability.

The lawsuit, which was originally filed in October 2001, accuses Walter Strus of raping and impregnating a Polish immigrant whom he persuaded to move to Chicago.

Among the new details alleged Thursday are that Strus violated his chastity vow with "various" women. The suit also accuses him of engaging in sexual acts with underage girls in Poland after he had become a priest in Chicago.

The woman claims Strus raped her in October 1999 while she was a parishioner at Five Holy Martyrs Church on the Southwest Side, where Strus was a priest at the time.

Strus was a priest at St. Fabian's from 1996 to 1999 before going to Five Holy Martyrs, said archdiocese spokesman Jim Dwyer.


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