Diocese Lifted from Lawsuit against Schwaegel
Case against Priest Set for Trial May 12
By Mike Fitzgerald
January 31, 2003
A federal judge in East St. Louis has removed the Catholic Diocese of Belleville from a lawsuit filed by a man alleging he was sexually abused 30 years ago by former Monsignor Joseph R. Schwaegel.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Clifford J. Proud ruled the diocese could not be held liable for Schwaegel's alleged acts of abuse because they did not fall within the scope of his employment by the diocese.
In addition, Proud tossed out 19 of the 21 allegations contained in the federal lawsuit that Jephrey Hemmer, 38, filed in 2001 against Schwaegel, the former pastor of St. Peter Cathedral in Belleville.
The dismissed allegations were filed too late under Illinois' statute of limitations for sexual abuse claims, Proud ruled.
Schwaegel was popular as a priest and widely known for his musical talents. He recorded three albums of Christian music and once sang regularly at local establishments.
Hemmer alleges Schwaegel molested him in 1973, when he was an 8-year-old schoolboy attending Cathedral Grade School in Belleville.
The remaining two allegations in Hemmer's lawsuit accuse the "singing priest" of negligence and assault.
An affidavit signed by the Rev. James Margason, the diocese's vicar general, filed last fall in connection with Hemmer's lawsuit stated at least three other men had come forward to accuse the "singing priest" of sexual misconduct.
Hemmer's lawsuit against Schwaegel is scheduled to go to trial at 9 a.m. May 12.
The Belleville Catholic Diocese has removed 15 priests, including Schwaegel, and one deacon since March 1993 over allegations of sexual abuse of a child or sexual misconduct.
Any original material on these pages is copyright © BishopAccountability.org 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.
money guide of hospital products guide of international market guide of repair roof before winter guide of website income guide of secure your business guide of face makeup tools guide of jewellery arts guide of tv shows guide of best places on earth guide of job plans guide of cheap cars guide of creating products guide of women tools guide of eat less guide of car insurance process guide of sport stuff guide of garden home guide of cheap insurances guide of electronic tech guide of healthy feeding guide of what is next in fashion guide of improve company guide of tactical insurance guide of make money at home guide of development in business guide of dept loan guide of cooking secrets guide of correct companies guide of jobs with more income guide of reviews o general products guide of improving technology guide of ideal job guide of business sectors guide of dept problem guide of unlimited business guide of suitable insurance company guide of money cars guide of how to market guide of heatlhy diet tips guide of decoration tipse guide of security problems