Two men sue Archdiocese over alleged abuse by priests - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Two men sue Archdiocese over alleged abuse by priests

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CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

Two lawsuits were filed in Cook County Circuit Court Thursday against the Archdiocese of Chicago, accusing two priests of sexual abuse at parish schools.

One suit was filed by a man claiming he was molested by a priest nine or ten times between 1971 and 1973 while he was a student at Resurrection Grammar School on the city's West Side.

The suit claims the priest inappropriately touched and fondled the boy when he was alone with him in the church rectory, often calling him into the rectory and separating him from other students under the guise of disciplining him for misbehavior.

The man claims he was afraid to talk about the abuse at the time because the priest was in a position of authority and respect in the community, according to the suit.

He subsequently repressed memories of the abuse but recalled the incidents in September 2013 and connected them to a number of emotional and mental issues stemming from the abuse, the suit claims.

The second suit was filed by a different man claiming he was sexually abused by a priest when he was a student at Our Lady Gate of Heaven School, 2338 E. 99th St. The suit claims the priest rubbed the boy's genitals and sodomized him multiple times from late 1990 to early 1991.

The suit also claims the man was afraid to discuss the abuse at the time, repressed the memories of it and became aware of the abuse after he sought psychological treatment in early 2014.

Both suits accuse the archdiocese of neglect and willful and wanton conduct for allowing the priests to be in a position where they could be alone with children and abuse them.

Neither priest appears on a list of archdiocesan priests who face substantiated allegations of sexual misconduct with minors, which is posted on the Archdiocese of Chicago's website.

The archdiocese learned of the lawsuits earlier this week and referred them to legal counsel and its Office for the Protection of Children and Youth, spokeswoman Susan Burritt said in a statement. She said one of the accused priests is deceased and the other is not in ministry.

"The abuse of any child is a crime and a sin," Burritt said in the statement. "The Archdiocese encourages anyone who has been sexually abused by a priest, deacon, religious, lay employee or volunteer, to come forward."

Each suit is seeking a total of more than $100,000 in damages, plus legal costs.

--Contact: Atty. Jeffrey S. Deutschman, (312) 419-1600.

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