Lawsuit Alleges Sex Abuse by Priest

By Margaret Ramirez
Chicago Tribune
April 7, 2006

A 31-year-old man filed a $300,000 civil lawsuit Thursday against the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago, alleging a priest sexually abused him as a teen and church officials transferred the cleric between churches to conceal a pattern of abuse.

The complaint said Robert Craig abused the plaintiff, who was not identified, from 1987 to 1990 when he was 13 to 16 years old. Craig was placed on administrative leave in 1990 after then-Cardinal Joseph Bernardin found reasonable cause to suspect the priest had engaged in sexual misconduct with a minor, said archdiocese spokeswoman Colleen Dolan.

Craig resigned from the priesthood in 1993. He had been ordained in 197 4 and worked in several Chicago parishes, including St. Aloysius, All Saints-St. Anthony, St. Ann and St. Mark.

Dolan also confirmed that archdiocese officials had reached a settlement agreement with another alleged victim of Craig's before he left the priesthood. She said authorities were notified but could not say when that occurred.

Jeff Anderson, attorney for the plaintiff in the current suit, said he has been in contact with five other people who say Craig abused them from 1982 to 1990.

Cardinal Francis George and the Chicago archdiocese have come under fire in recent months for the handling of sexual abuse allegations against Rev. Daniel McCormack. After years of refusing to publish a list of names of priests accused of abuse, George last month released the names of 55 priests with "substantiated" allegations of sexual misconduct with minors. Craig was included on that list.


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