Man Sues Former St. Rita Priest

By Rummana Hussain
Southtown Star
March 21, 2008,032108strita.article

A Chicago-area man filed a lawsuit Thursday accusing a former Augustinian Roman Catholic priest of molesting him when he was a teenager.

Between 1976 and 1979, John Johnson, now 44, allegedly was assaulted by St. Rita of Cascia Parish priest John D. Murphy, who also was named as a defendant in a lawsuit filed by 13 other male victims in 2003. The Augustinian order settled with the men a year later.

Johnson also was sexually abused by St. Rita High School's choir director during a semester in his freshman year, according to Barbara Blaine, president of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests.

The now-deceased male teacher, also acting as a disciplinarian, would make Johnson come to school on Saturdays, and the teacher would molest him, the lawsuit says.

"It's indescribable," Johnson said of what he endured. "If I can save even one kid from it, I've done my job."

Officials with the Augustinians of the Midwest Province, which was named as a defendant in Johnson's lawsuit, were not available Thursday for comment.


Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.