Alleged clergy abuse victims refile lawsuits

WJBC News, Illinois/January 25, 2007

Victims of alleged clergy sexual abuse have given up on mediation and have re-filed lawsuits against the Peoria Catholic Diocese and at least three Catholic priests.

The rest of nine lawsuits filed in 2005 but which were withdrawn will be refiled according to a source which also says new lawsuits will be filed in upcoming weeks. Barbara Blaine, president of hte Survivors Network for Those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, says independent sources interviewed victims to determine the level of counseling for each and a dollar amount was calculated but the diocese refused to pay counseling costs up front.

Blaine says Bishop Jenky has also distanced himself from the problem.

The lawsuits were filed this week on behalf of a 45-year-old Jean Anderson who says she was abused while at St. Thomas Catholic School in Peoria Heights, by 42-year-old Daniel Williams who said he was abused while at Holy Family Catholic Church in Lincoln and by 41 year-old Joseph Sims Junior who says he was abused while a member of St. John's Catholic Church in Galva. All three priests involved were removed from public ministry.

Details of the fourth lawsuit were not available.

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