Northlake Woman Files Suit against Greek Church over Alleged Priest Abuse
By Lisa Fielding
March 14, 2016
|Attorney Jeff Anderson holds a picture of the accused priest and a copy of the lawsuit.|
A 34-year-old woman, known only as Jane Doe 247, says she was sexually abused by a priest at St. John’s The Baptist Church in Northlake from the ages of 14 to 17.
“I was stunned the first time he touched me inappropriately. I didn’t know what to think. He was a man of the cloth,” Jane Doe tearfully recalled.
Now, she is suing the parish and the Melkite-Greek Catholic Church.
“It is the diocese and the parish that she was at St. John’s that could have and should have done something more than what they did,” said attorney Jeff Anderson.
Anderson says the abuse happened between 1995-1998 and that parish and other clerics knew was going on.
“The reality is that the Melkites, the bishop and the diocese of this Greek Orthodox Order have known for years they had serious problems with childhood sexual abuse but they kept it secret, they kept it silent,” Anderson said.
“She was too young to know it was a crime. He took her under his control and had her live with him. She even took it to the police and the police told her they couldn’t do anything. So today, she’s here today to make sure that those who need to know do now know what happened to her,” said Anderson.
“I’ve tried my hardest to put it in the back of my head because I felt shameful but now that I have children,” she cried. “It really takes a lot out of me to let them not be in my sight 24/7. I couldn’t let this go on any further.”
After the allegations were made, the priest was transferred to St. Anne’s in North Hollywood, California where he served for 11 years. He has since retired.
“The statute of limitations has since expired criminally but we can still get justice,” said Anderson.
“I hope this no longer will be a secret. He doesn’t deserve to live out the rest of his life with the feeling that he got away with it. I’m not letting that happen,” said Jane Doe. “I want other victims to know they don’t have to be ashamed and that they will feel so much better letting the truth be known.”
WBBM has reached out to the church and the diocese for comment.