'He Has Truly Got What He Deserves'

By Art Barnum
Chicago Tribune
March 24, 2008,1,2891789.story

Brian says he was 10 years old in 1982 when a Roman Catholic priest called him to his office, had him try on a skimpy costume, then fondled him.

Brian, now 35, sat in a DuPage County courtroom last week for three days and saw a jury declare Fred Lenczycki a sexually violent person who should be committed to a mental institution for an undetermined amount of time, maybe for the rest of his life.

"He has truly got what he deserves," Brian, who now lives Downstate, said Monday. "He is a serial molester. He belongs in jail forever."

At his request, the Tribune is not using Brian's last name. It is the newspaper's practice not to identify victims of sexual assault.

Lenczycki may have molested as many as 30 young boys from the 1970s through the 1990s at six parishes in three states, according to testimony last week. Criminal charges weren't brought until 2002, when DuPage prosecutors charged him with sexually abusing three boys at St. Isaac Jogues parish school in Hinsdale.

Brian was not one of the three pupils Lenczycki was convicted of abusing, but prosecutors at his sentencing hearing in 2004 acknowledged Brian was a victim and allowed him to read a victim-impact statement. In that statement, Brian said a 5-year sentence was "ridiculously weak."

Two weeks before Lenczycki was to be released after serving the state-required 21/2 years of his sentence, the Illinois attorney general's office filed a petition to have him declared a sexually violent person. Upon release, he was sent to a state mental institution and has been receiving sex offender treatment.

"He has never apologized to me," Brian said. "He knew I was at last week's hearing and he never looked at me.

". . . I wouldn't know what to say to him if we were to sit down. I think I might take a swing at him, but certainly not forgive him," Brian said.

He works in sales management, is married and has two small children, but he says he has never recovered from the pain and humiliation of the abuse. He has been through several stints of counseling and still occasionally sees a counselor, he said.

"My wife, family and friends are aware of what happened, and they are 110 percent supportive," he said. "I remain very angry."

He filed a civil lawsuit against the Joliet diocese in 1996 and settled out of court for several hundred thousand dollars, which he used to pay legal bills, student loans, a car bill and to make a down payment on his "modest" home, he said. "I still keep in touch with one or two of the other victims, and we will never forget what happened," he said.

"There are some days that I don't think about it, but not a week goes by that it isn't on my mind, and I'm sure it still affects me," he said.

The former priest has been returned to a state facility in Rushville, where he will continue to get treatment. State law requires a review of his status every year.



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