Lawsuit Filed against the Diocese

By Syreeta Baker
June 11, 2008

The alleged sexual abuse of an eight-year-old boy has the Catholic Diocese of Peoria and a retired priest facing a civil lawsuit.

Today the victims' family members spoke out about their son's alleged traumatic experience.

News 25's Syreeta Baker has more on the story and what some parishioners are saying about their former Priest.

"The church that I lived my life for is now fighting against me and has ruined my kid's childhood," says Joanne Ward.

Joanne Ward and her family struggles to hold back their pain.

Pain she says that was caused by the Catholic Diocese of Peoria and retired Priest Monsignor Thomas Maloney.

The Ward family says Maloney molested their son Andrew Ward at the age of eight.

"He struggles day in and day out he still suffers with self-confidence and fights daily with what happened to him," says David Ward.

Family members say it was here at Epiphany Catholic Church in Normal that Monsignor Thomas Maloney sexually abused their son in late 1995 and in early 1996.

"He hated me and the reason is because my whole life was Epiphany.

And Thomas Maloney...I would continue to tell him he had to serve," says Joanne Ward.

Some parishioners we spoke with who did not want be identified say they've heard of rumors about Maloney in the past and that nothing surprises them.

In response to the Ward's family allegations the Catholic Diocese of Peoria says at this time the diocese is not aware of any lawsuit filed in Peoria County and are reserving comment.

The family is seeking at least 50 thousand dollars in damages from Maloney and the Diocese. And as of right now a court date is set for November.

Normally WEEK-TV doesn't publish names of abuse victims, but the family has asked that their names be released.


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