Additional Details Released about Molestation by Now-deceased Former Lake Villa Parish Pastor
By Bob Susnjara
November 6, 2014
Documents released by the Archdiocese of Chicago show a now-deceased priest who was pastor of Prince of Peace Parish in Lake Villa molested and took nude photographs of a boy.
Although the archdiocese announced in 2002 that sexual abuse accusations were made against the Rev. Richard Fassbinder, who was 75 at the time, the previously secret files that became available Thursday provided additional details.
For example, the new documents show Fassbinder served another 2? years as Prince of Peace's pastor emeritus after acknowledging the sexual relationship, but claiming he didn't know the boy was a minor when it began in 1974. He lived in a Fox Lake retirement community as pastor emeritus until he died in May 2004.
Archdiocese documents state Fassbinder admitted taking nude photographs of the boy and bringing him to Wisconsin for an overnight trip. However, Fassbinder said in 2001 he destroyed the pictures "years ago."
Documents show the boy was 16 when Fassbinder started the sexual abuse. Fassbinder said the sexual contact continued for 15 years.
"Father Fassbinder now owns the stupidity this type of behavior manifests," according to an internal archdiocese report from December 2001 that became public Thursday. "He claims that (the boy) is the only person with whom he had relations."
Records show Fassbinder started his religious career at St. Hugh Parish in South suburban Lyons in 1953. He also served at Queen of All Saints Basilica Parish in Chicago and St. Emily Parish in Mount Prospect before settling at Prince of Peace in Lake Villa from 1973 to 2004.
Fassbinder was Prince of Peace's pastor from 1977 to 1997, then held the emeritus title until his death 10 years ago. The archdiocese said Fassbinder was on restricted ministry after the sexual abuse was reported.