Joliet Diocese is sued over Catholic priest accused of sexually assaulting disabled man at residential center in Kankakee

Chirago Tribune

Oct. 31, 2019

By Madeline Buckley

The Diocese of Joliet is facing a lawsuit in connection to a priest who is accused of sexually assaulting a disabled man while visiting a Kankakee development center to minister to residents there.

Richard Jacklin, 67, was criminally charged in 2017 after a nurse reported walking in on Jacklin performing a sex act on a 39-year-old man who was living at the Shapiro Developmental Center, prosecutors said. The center provides housing and care for people with intellectual disabilities. The man is paralyzed and has an intellectual disability.

The lawsuit, filed Wednesday, accuses the diocese of failing to properly investigate Jacklin and protect disabled people from the priest. Diocese priests visited Shapiro to provide religious counseling and other services to residents, according to the suit.

The suit was filed by attorneys for the Illinois Office of State Guardian on behalf of the man, who is a ward of the state. Named as defendants are the diocese, Jacklin and Bishop Daniel Conlon. Alex Rechenmacher, a spokesman for the diocese, said he cannot comment on the lawsuit because the diocese hasn’t yet been served.

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