Lawsuit: Now-Deceased Priest Abused Boy

February 13, 2008

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Attorneys representing a man who claims he was abused by a priest while attending St. Mary's Academy filed a lawsuit on Tuesday against the Diocese of St. Augustine.

Fr. William Weinheimer, the priest named in the lawsuit, is deceased.

The suit claims Weinheimer abused Gregory Peake in 1954 when

the victim was 9 years old.

"The boy's family kept letters from the priest which intimated sexual abuse," Saunders wrote in his blog. "The now-adult man still can't come to grips with the effects of the abuse."

The Diocese of St. Augustine released a statement Tuesday saying they are aware of the allegations against a priest that served in the Jacksonville area for about two years in the mid-1950s:

"The allegations against Father Weinheimer are under review and discussion. We are unaware of any other allegations involving this priest who passed away in St. Petersburg on January 20, 1986."

Saunders has also filed a lawsuit against Fr. Vijay Godugunuru and the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee. Godugunuru, a visiting priest from India, was charged and convicted of aggravated assault with intent to commit a felony against a minor.


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