Woman's Suit against Ex-Priest Is Reinstated

St. Louis Post-Dispatch (Missouri)
June 5, 1999

The 5th District Appellate Court at Mount Vernon has reinstated a civil suit against a former priest accused of forcing the plaintiff to become his mistress in the early 1970s, when she was 15 years old.

The case had been dismissed in circuit court in Belleville on grounds that she had waited too long to file suit, but the appellate court reversed that order and sent the case back to Belleville for trial.

The plaintiff, now 44 and living in the Chicago area, claims in her suit that the Rev. Raymond Kownacki brought her to his parish, St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church, in 1970 on the pretense of furthering her education. Her suit claims that he threatened and sexually abused her for three years, once even inducing an abortion.

In 1995, Kownacki was removed as a priest by Bishop Wilton D. Gregory of the Belleville Diocese after the suit was filed.


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