Lawsuit Alleges 2 Priests Shared Sex-Abuse Victims

Chicago Tribune
April 25, 2006

CHICAGO -- A lawsuit filed Monday against the Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago alleges that two priests--both now dead--had an arrangement to share children whom they were sexually abusing.

The plaintiff, a 38-year-old suburban man, alleges he was abused in the late 1970s but did not remember it until he read an article about abusive priests in October 2003. That article described an $8 million settlement with victims of a dozen Chicago priests, including Rev. Kenneth Ruge and Rev. Robert Becker.

The suit says Ruge first abused the plaintiff when he was a choirboy at the Divine Infant parish in suburban Westchester between 1976 and 1979. About one year after the abuse began, when the alleged victim was about 10, Ruge introduced him to Becker at St. Clement in Chicago, according to the suit.

The suit alleges the plaintiff was abused at both parishes, at the Chicago Men's Club and in a camper owned by the two priests during a Colorado trip.

Both priests were withdrawn from ministry in 1991 because there was reasonable cause to suspect they had engaged in sexual conduct with a minor. Becker died in 1989; Ruge in 2002.

The alleged victim said Monday that he told the archdiocese about the assaults more than two years ago but that church officials had stonewalled him. Archdiocese spokesman Jim Dwyer declined comment.


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