|Pastor Sues Accusers after Sex Abuse Case Dismissed
Claims That Alleged Victim Sought to Ruin His Reputation
By Cynthia Dizikes
January 31, 2010
CHICAGO (IL) -- A pastor of a west suburban church who was accused of molesting a 13-year-old Polish immigrant two decades ago filed a lawsuit against his accusers in Cook County Circuit Court on Friday, alleging they intentionally ruined his reputation.
A pastor of a west suburban church who was accused of molesting a 13-year-old Polish immigrant two decades ago filed a lawsuit against his accusers in Cook County Circuit Court on Friday, alleging they intentionally ruined his reputation.
The lawsuit comes about a month after the sex-abuse case was dismissed. It accuses the immigrant, his lawyers, and the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) of defamation, malicious prosecution, intentional infliction of emotional distress, among other claims. The Rev. Chester Przybylo, 59, is asking for at least $500,000 in compensatory and punitive damages.
"It is a matter of clearing his name, setting the record straight," said Przybylo's lawyer, Walter Maksym.
In 2006, Przybylo was accused of molesting the teen while serving at Five Holy Martyrs parish in Chicago in the late 1980s. The Chicago Archdiocese was named as a defendant.
Przybylo, who for the last decade has been pastor of the Shrine of Christ the King in Winfield, denied the allegations. The archdiocese settled with Przybylo's accuser for nearly $1.4 million.
But Maksym successfully moved to have the case against Przybylo dismissed in December based on an Illinois Supreme Court ruling that clarified the time frame in which sexual-abuse survivors can file lawsuits.
Przybylo is claiming that he "suffered and endured acute nervousness, bodily pain and ruination and impairment of his reputation for honesty and integrity" because of the accusations and media attention.
Barbara Blaine, president of SNAP, called the accusations "frivolous" and defended the attention that her group paid to the allegations of abuse.
An attorney for the accuser stressed that Przybylo's case was thrown out based on a technicality and not on its merits.
"He said, 'You can't sue me, too much time has passed,' " attorney Marc Pearlman said.
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