Civil Suit Filed against Former Priest

March 16, 2007

Tulsa, Okla. The family of a Tulsa-area boy who says he was sexually abused by a Catholic priest when he was 9 filed a civil lawsuit in Illinois today against him and the Diocese of Tulsa.

The suit, which seeks damages more than 50-thousand-dollars, alleges that in 2001, the Reverend Kenneth Lewis abused the boy during a family trip to Chicago.

David Clohessy, national director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, says that Lewis, who attended seminary in the area, traveled there with the family to show them the city.

Both the boy, now 14 or 15, and his parents still live in the Tulsa area and are not named in the suit.

The boy reported the activity to his parents, and his parents told Chicago police and the Tulsa diocese, which is headed by Bishop Edward Slattery.

Lewis hasn't been active in parish ministry since 2002. He served at churches in Tulsa, Fairfax, Pawnee and McAlester during his career.

John Johnson, the chancellor of the Tulsa diocese, says he could not comment because he has not seen the lawsuit.


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