Belleville Diocese Must Pay, Illinois Supreme Court Says

The diocese is on the hook for another $6.35 million after the Illinois Supreme Court refused to hear its appeal.
The Illinois Supreme Court yesterday refused to hear an appeal of the Diocese of Belleville -- letting stand a $5 million jury verdict for a former altar boy at St. Theresa's Parish in Salem.

That means -- barring intervention from the U.S. Supreme Court, which would be highly unusual -- the diocese is on the hook for the $5 million jury verdict, plus more than $1 million in interest that's accumulated during the appeal process.

The suit was filed by James Wisniewski of Champaign, Illinois, who said the abuse began when he was just thirteen years old. The priest he accused, Raymond Kownacki, has since been suspended.

The Belleville News-Democrat reports that the diocese settled another lawsuit focused on Kownacki for $1.2 million. Two other lawsuits regarding the priest are still pending.

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Yes, they're on the hook.  That's a good way to put it.  I bet they're really angry too at the children in general who they think are seducing their good priests.  Way to go, Catholics.  Enjoy your hook.

Judy Block-Jones
Judy Block-Jones

James Wisniewski is so courageous and he never gave up.  He was willing to do whatever it took to expose the truth. This has taken years of going through the manipulation and betrayal by church officials to not be held accountable.

I attended this trial in Belleville. It was an eye opener to see and hear Wilton Gregory and other church officials having to sit on that witness stand and tell the truth under oath.  After the jury found the diocese guilty of cover up. they were the ones who awarded the 5 million to Jim.I remember the jurors coming over to Jim and his family and hugging them. They knew the truth and they did the right thing with their verdict.

This gives hope for so many victims who have been harmed by priests, bishops, nuns, religious brothers, etc. Church officials can not keep getting away with covering up sex crimes against innocent kids.

Thank Jim for your courage and thank you to your family for standing by you.Judy Jones, SNAP Midwest Associate Director,"Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests" and all clergy

Handsome Jimmy
Handsome Jimmy

Why any sane person would continue to support the Catholic church is beyond me. They have shown over and over that they simply cannot be trusted in any form, aside from the fish dinners during lent.

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