St. Joe Native Named in Priest Abuse Lawsuit
By Kim Norvell
St. Joseph News-Press
September 15, 2012
The late Rev. Jerry J. Wegenek, a St. Joseph native and former priest in the area, has been named in a civil suit alleging he repeatedly abused a boy in 1966.
The civil suit was filed Thursday in Jackson County Circuit Court on behalf of John Doe F.A., who is a 57-year-old man living in Florida. It names the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph as the defendant.
Rev. Wegenek died in February 2011 at age 73.
According to the civil petition, Rev. Wegenek allegedly sexually abused the victim when he was 11 years old at various locations, including church parking lots and in the rectory of either St. Gabriel or St. Patrick Parish in Kansas City, Mo., where he was assigned at the time of the abuse.
Court documents also allege the victim was raped by Rev. Wegenek at an area hotel. He was alleged to have taken the boy to the hotel during a church retreat.