Sex Abuse Lawsuit against Priest and Peoria Diocese Revived on Appeal
By Andy Kravetz
Peoria Journal Star
August 27, 2016
An appellate court panel this week found a Peoria County judge erred when she threw out a lawsuit by a man claiming he was sexually abused by a priest.
The panel of 3rd District Appellate Court judges held the man's lawsuit, which was filed in 2012, wasn't time-barred by state law even though the abuse happened in the early 1990s. Rather, Judge Mary K. O'Brien wrote, with Judges Robert Carter and Vicki Wright concurring, the lawsuit should be allowed to proceed as the man claimed in his suit that he blocked the abuse out of his memory until 2011. As such, the statute of limitations hadn't tolled.
The man, now 37, sued the Rev. Norman Goodman, Holy Family Catholic Church, and the Catholic Diocese of Peoria in July 2012, alleging Goodman, who is deceased, sexually abused him from 1991 to 1994 when he was 13 to 15 years old. Goodman was a priest based in Lincoln.
Under a 1991 law, those alleging child abuse must file civil claims within a certain time frame. Any lawsuits after that were barred because of a statute of limitations. A change in the law in 1994 repealed that section, but an Illinois Supreme Court case a few years later upheld the sentiment of the 1991 section of law.