Five lawsuits filed against Joliet Diocese alleging sexual abuse
By Janet Lundquist firstname.lastname@example.org May 15, 2013 10:00AM
Updated: May 15, 2013 10:53AM
The Diocese of Joliet is facing five new lawsuits alleging priests and one lay teacher sexually abused boys in the 1970s and 1980s.
The victims, who were between 8 and 16 years old at the time, say they suppressed their memories of the abuse until recently, when the diocese released its “secret archives” of files on priests accused of sexually abusing children.
Attorneys with Chicago law firm Hurley McKenna and Mertz say they filed the lawsuits in Will County on Wednesday.
“Lives have been horribly damaged,” attorney Mark McKenna said in a written statement. “The scars from child sexual abuse and the secrecy surrounding it take years, even decades to heal properly.”
The victims were active in the St. Boniface Catholic Church in Monee, St. Charles Borremo Seminary in Joliet, St. Dominic Catholic Church in Bolingbrook, St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Bolingbrook and St. Mary Nativity School in Joliet, according to a press release.
All of the priests accused in the lawsuits were removed from the ministry between 1992 and 2012. One priest has died, as well as the teacher or principal named in one complaint, the law firm states.