Florida Man Suing Metro Diocese over Alleged Sex Abuse
September 15, 2012
A former Kansas City, Missouri, resident has filed a lawsuit against the Kansas City-St. Joseph Catholic Diocese claiming that a now-deceased priest sexually abused him over 45 years ago.
In the lawsuit filed on Thursday, the plaintiff – identified only as John Doe, F.A., and now a resident of Florida – claims that Father Jerry Wegenek abused him when he was 11-year-old between 1966 and 1967. The alleged victim says that this was a case of repressed memory, and didn’t remember the alleged abuse until 2010.
Father Wegenek, who died last year and had never been named in a sexual abuse lawsuit, was assigned to St. Gabriel’s and St. Patrick’s parishes during the time of the alleged abuse.
In a statement, the Diocese said that Wegenek was removed from ministry in June of 1994 following an allegation of sexual misconduct with a teenage boy in the 1970?s, but they had not received any allegation of sexual misconduct by him prior to 1994.
Attorney Rebecca Randles, who is representing John Doe F.A. in court, disputes that claim.
“The priest died this past year. Nonetheless, the diocese did have knowledge of the abuse that Father Wegenek was perpetrating on children,” said Randles.
The lawsuit asks for a jury trial and monetary damages. Out of over 12,000 abuse cases filed across the nation, only 40 have so far gone to trial.