Ill. SupCo Lets Priest Abuse Case Go Forward

Associated Press, carried in WREX
August 18, 2008

BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) - The Illinois Supreme Court says it won't intervene in a 47-year-old Champaign man's lawsuit against the Diocese of Belleville over sex-abuse allegations decades ago.

The state's high court didn't comment in declining the diocese's request to dismiss James Wisniewski's (wizh-NEW'-skees) 2002 lawsuit against the diocese and the Rev. Raymond Kownacki.

Wisniewski claims 73-year-old Kownacki sexually abused him from 1973 to 1978 when Wisniewski was an altar boy at St. Theresa's church and school in Salem in southern Illinois.

Jury selection began Monday in the Belleville trial.

A St. Clair County Circuit judge has ruled the jury must decide whether the diocese hid evidence of molestation before it can begin deliberating whether Kownacki is guilty of causing psychological damage to Wisniewski.


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