Former Geneva Priest Accused of Sexually Abusing Young Boy
By Amie Schaenzer
September 10, 2015
A lawsuit has been filed against a former Geneva priest who is accused of sexually abusing a boy when he was between the ages of 5 and 7 years old in the 1970s while he served at St. Rita’s of Cascia in Aurora, according to the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP).
The lawsuit claims John C. Holdren “manipulated the boy’s emotions” and groomed him to keep him from reporting the sex acts. Holdren is accused of having sex with the boy and inappropriately groping and fondling his genitals. The incidents occurred in 1972 and 1973. The alleged victim is a 49-year-old Maryland man who grew up in Aurora.
Holdren served as a priest at St. Peter in Geneva from 1981 to 1983. Holdren served at St. Rita’s until 1981 and also spent time with two other parishes in the Chicago area: He was with St. Thomas the Apostle in Crystal Lake for six years in the 1970s and retired in 1994 from St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Johnsburg after serving for 10 years as a priest, according to the Kane County Chronicle.
The lawsuit, which was filed Tuesday, seeks $50,000 in damages.
Holdren, now 70, said he did not abuse the boy, according to WGN TV.
“Good luck getting the $50,000. I don’t have any money,” Holdren told WGN TV.
SNAP is asking the Rockford Catholic diocese to “aggressively seek out others who saw, suspected or suffered Fr. Holdren’s crimes and beg them to call law enforcement” by using “church bulletins, parish websites and pulpit announcements.”