Settlement Reached in Case of Defrocked Pastor Who Worked in Bremerton

Kitsap Sun
August 5, 2009

The Catholic Archdiocese of Seattle has agreed to pay $350,000 to settle the sex abuse claims against a deceased minister who once worked in Bremerton, according to the plaintiff’s attorney.

A 67-year-old Thurston County man claimed he’d been sexually abused in 1959 by Father James Knelleken, who’d worked in Raymond, Seattle, Everett and Bremerton over a 37-year career, said the 67-year-old’s attorney, James Rogers of Seattle.

Knelleken was assigned as the first pastor of Holy Trinity parish in Bremerton the 1960s.

Part of the suit, filed in King County Superior Court, alleged that the archdiocese was negligent in seeking out and exposing such abuse.

Rogers said the 67-year-old was pleased the archdiocese was held accountable in the case.

Knelleken was removed from the ministry in 1988 because of sexual misconduct allegations. He was defrocked by the Vatican and died in 2003.


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