|Former Altar Boy Claims Sexual Abuse by Priest
By William Lee
September 10, 2008
A former altar boy at Assumption Greek Orthodox Church in Olympia Fields filed a lawsuit in which he says a priest sexually abused him there in the 1970s and that church officials covered it up.
The suit, filed Tuesday in Cook County Circuit Court, accuses the Rev. Nicholas E. Katinas of molesting the 15-year-old boy from spring 1977 to September 1978 while he was pastor of Assumption Greek Orthodox Church.
Katinas, who joined Assumption in January 1969, groomed the victim for abuse by showering him with attention and telling him he was a "good-looking boy" and that he was "special" before initiating the sexual contact, according to the lawsuit. The victim is now 46.
The suit says the abuse continued until Katinas was transferred to Dallas, but he again molested the boy when Katinas returned to Assumption for a special church event.
In addition to Katinas, now 73, the lawsuit names Assumption, the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America in New York as defendants.
It contends that church officials failed to remove Katinas as Assumption's pastor, even though an unnamed church council president "personally observed at least four suspicious incidents suggestive of pedophilia" involving Katinas and teenage boys.
Representatives for the defendants could not be reached Tuesday for comment.
This is the second such lawsuit against Katinas, who is believed to have fled the country and was defrocked in January. Last year, two men filed suit in Texas, claiming that they were molested by Katinas over three years. That suit claims that Katinas informed the church hierarchy of his sexual abuse while he was at Assumption but was allowed to continue working in Dallas.
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